Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thoughts On a Prayer

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I need not speak of the state of our nation. It's in a shambles. So far from where we once were, calling on the name of God openly in schools, in government, in freedom. Slowly that freedom is being taken away. This does not surprise me. Not at all. In fact, I forsee a day when we are persecuted just as much as our brothers and sisters in Africa, China, India, etc. Who are we to be exempt? It's interesting that the places where the presecution is the strongest, the church is also growing the most. Perhaps persecution is what we need to strengthen our faith, to call us to our knees and to the Word.

In light of this, I was reading in 2 Samuel tonight. I read in chapter 21 where there was a famine in the land for three years. King David got before the Lord and asked Him why things were the way they were and God told him. It was because of the sin that Saul had done against a body of people, the Gibeonites, that the Israelites had promised to protect. What struck me was that this sin was performed by Saul, not David and yet the result of it, not a natural result I might add, was conducted on David and his kingdom. What's even more intersting that when David made amends for it, which was the lives of seven descendants of Saul, that the famine abated.

That got me thinking, we pray for so many things to be changed "Oh Lord, please help our president to be a more Christian man, lead our government, put prayer back in our schools...." While these are all good prayers and there is nothing wrong with praying them, I believe the focus is off. We are giving great suggestions to God on what needs changed. These things are all symptoms of a bigger problem that goes much deeper. We need to be asking the Lord what He sees that needs changing. Or maybe it comes closer to home than that "Lord what needs changing in ME?" Sometimes the problem wasn't caused by us, but we perpetuate the problem, allow it continue or turn a blind eye. In some ways that's the same as acting out in the sin itself. It is for that we need forgiveness and atonement.

Lord what is it that You want to change in our Nation? What is it that You want to change in me?

2 Chronicles 7:14 repeats the story in 2 Samuel 21 with a promise "If my people, who are called by my name, will 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."

There is action here. And it's not about those who are not in the church, it is an action of God's people. We are the ones who can change this nation back, and it's a action of the heart. Our prayers about those people out there to change their evil ways are ok, but the only person I can change is me. Revival begins here, with me, in my heart. Oh Lord change me.

(cuz I need it)

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