Monday, July 4, 2016

How to Preserve the Freedom We Enjoy

A few months ago, my pastor asked our church to join together to pray for our nation at 7:14 every day. Twice a day, we were to spend one minute in prayer. The 7:14, of course, comes from the passage in 2 Chronicles 7:14. You probably know this verse by heart. 

If My people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 nasb

Two minutes a day didn't seem like many prayer minutes to me, but God didn't say He would move based on the length of the prayer. What He requires is humility, seeking His face, and repentance of sin to accompany our prayers, not lots of minutes.

We pulled out our phones and set alarms. It was obvious we were praying by the number of alarms that went off at 7:14 during the Wednesday evening Bible study each week.

I set my alarms, too. One evening at church, my phone was in my purse when the alarm sounded. I fumbled to silence it, but it took long enough that it drew attention from those around me. After that, I turned the alarm off when I went into Bible study.

A few days ago, I realized I'd turned it off, but forgotten to turn it back on. Without the alarm, I'd forgotten to pray. Somehow, I'd turned off the morning alarm, too. I've prayed some for our nation since then, but I have to admit that it hasn't been with the fervor of those 7:14 alarm prayers.

I've turned the 7:14 alarms back on.

Our country is in a terrible mess. From our leaders to our churches to our individual hearts, we are far from God, and it frightens me. 

America needs the prayers of God's people more than ever, and, as a nation, we don't even realize it. Corporately, we have removed God from the public eye, just as we have removed Him from our hearts. It's a wonder He continues to bless us.

The hearing, forgiving, and healing God promised Israel had nothing to do with the hearts and prayers of those who were not His people. That same principle holds true today. 

If God's people will humble themselves, seek His face, and pray, He will hear, forgive, and heal.

People of God, we must do what we can. The time for delay is long past. 

Today, we celebrate the freedom we've enjoyed for the last 240 years. This has been a great country, but I fear the direction in which we are headed. On this day of joy, let's join together to do what it takes to preserve our freedom. 

Saving a nation is hard work, and it cannot be done with elections, or guns, or protests. Saving a nation begins, just as starting a nation did, on our knees. More may be required of us as citizens, but the prayer work must be done first. 

Let's begin by humbling our own hearts, turning from our own sin, and seeking God's face. With that job underway, let's also join together, twice a day, one minute at a time, to pray for God to hear, forgive, and heal this great land we love.

Let's start today. The future of a nation depends on the prayers of God's people. 
In honor of Independence Day, I've chosen several blogs from the archives for today. They'll post throughout the day, so be sure to check back.

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Lessons from Lou: A Life Well-Lived

#ifmypeople #IndependenceDay #prayer #linesfromleanna