Sixteen years ago when I founded WND with my wife, Elizabeth, as the first independent Internet news service – one unattached to an existing media company peddling newspapers or TV commercial time – I knew our country was facing serious crises.
But I was probably a little too optimistic about our role in solving those problems. I was probably overly confident in my own abilities to herald the truth, hold government accountable and be salt and light in a world that had turned from you. While I knew you were the Creator of the world and the author of truth and justice and liberty, I confess now that I carried too much pride in my own abilities to set things straight. While you saved me from myself many times, performing miracle after miracle to keep our little experiment afloat, I didn’t submit every decision to you before making it.
While you have blessed WND beyond my wildest expectations, our country is in worse shape than it was when we started. Our world is a darker place than it was then. And it’s clear that it’s not going to get any brighter without your intervention.
I also believed the problems we faced in this country could largely be fixed by men – fallen men and women just like me, with better ideas, with your moral code, with responsible leadership.
I don’t believe that any more.
What we have watched taking place in Washington over the last few weeks should challenge every American – and especially every believer in you.
The only way America is going to be saved from going the way of other nations and empires is for believers in you to follow your prescription.
And what is that prescription?
You couldn’t be clearer about that. You gave the instructions to Solomon at the dedication of the first Temple in your holy city of Jerusalem many centuries ago. I believe they are instructions not just intended for Solomon’s ears, because you included them in your Holy Scriptures and you directed them to all “your people.”
We find them in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
That’s why I come to you, Lord, today, in humility, seeking your face and repenting openly and publicly of my own wicked ways. I implore other believers – your people – to do the same, publicly or privately.
What strikes me so profoundly about your instructions is that you will only hear our prayers if we come to you in humility, earnestly seeking your face and repenting of our own sins – not the sins of others. Help me to clean up my own act. Your people have a responsibility to do this first, before asking for anything of you. You ask us to do four things – humble ourselves, pray, seek your face and turn from our wicked ways. And if we do those four things, you promise to do three – hear us, forgive our sin and heal our land.
I write this prayer today in the hope that more of your people will join me in doing just that.
I don’t believe in manmade miracles. I don’t believe we can save cities and nations and empires without your hand. I don’t believe we can accomplish much of anything meaningful or lasting by our own strength. It all depends on you – and our obedience and faith.
So this is my prayer today to the Creator of the universe – the one who holds every molecule together, who sets the course of the stars and the planets and the moons, the one who breathed life into this world.
Please forgive our sins. Please heal our land.