National Day of Prayer - 2017

National Day of Prayer - 2017
For Your Great Name's Sake! Hear Us ...Forgive Us ...Heal Us!
Daniel 9:19

Today is the National Day of Prayer. A day believers set aside yearly to spend time in prayer and seek the Lord’s face in prayer.
Simply put, America is in grave trouble. We have chosen to trust in ourselves rather than the Lord our God.

American Flag on Display

One simply has to look at the news to see how our country mocks God and all that is true and right. We live in a society that calls evil good and good evil. I join with Isaiah in saying, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)

Yet we can’t pin the blame for our country’s demise on the unbeliever. Sadly, we have no one to blame but ourselves as believers. Such a statement sounds harsh and many believers would like to protest against such a statement.

Yet allow me to share a Scripture passage that makes very clear that the above statement is indeed true.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

God has placed us in this world to be the light. A simple fact that is observable with light and darkness is that darkness never overpowers the light, it simply fills the void where there is no light. Darkness is the absence of light.

While I certainly am not implying that every believer has checked out of the war we are engaged in, many have and all of us by God’s grace certainly need a deeper passion to serve our Lord and Savior.

So as I think about the National Day of Prayer, I certainly want to confess my own sin of pride, selfishness, and laziness that has hampered my service to my Lord the past year. May the Lord revive my own heart in Him and may I truly live the statement that “all I have is Christ.” (Philippians 3:8)

I admit that my own personal ambitions and desires have crowded out my daily focus on Christ at times. My prayer for myself and all of my fellow believers is that the Lord would give us an undivided heart, that we may fear His name. (Psalm 86:11)

As I continue on in my life, I am beginning to see more and more that there is only One who can truly save and deliver. The name of that person is Jesus Christ. Hope and trust in any person or human entity is folly. (Psalm 60:11)

So on this day of prayer, may we truly cast ourselves in utter dependence upon God. (Psalm 39:7) Our great error in America is that this country has become self-reliant. Our nation has put its trust in the arm of flesh rather than the arm of Almighty God. (Jeremiah 17:5)

As I think about the great distress America is in, I recall the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

“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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

While this verse was specifically a promise for the people of Israel, we would do well to apply the four steps outlined in it.

  1. Humble ourselves - “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
  2. Pray - “Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.” (Psalm 86:1)
  3. Seek God’s face - “I have sought Your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise.” (Psalm 119:58)
  4. Turn from wicked ways - “Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.” (Psalm 37:27)

May we humbly seek our Lord’s face in earnest prayer, not only this day, but every day of our lives. May we be men and women of prayer! (Ephesians 6:18)

“I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers to God make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those effects down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives."

Man on Knees Praying

Lord, we acknowledge our folly today. We loudly claim wholehearted devotion to You, yet our lives at times testify otherwise. How quickly do our eyes drift from the eternal to the temporal things of this world. How quickly do we forget we are saints and submit to the old ways of the flesh. How quickly do we begin to operate in our own power, rather than the power of the Holy Spirit. How quickly does pride and selfish ambition creep into our lives. How often do we forget the admonition to live lives worthy of the calling we have received.

Lord, we humbly confess our shortcomings to You and ask for Your gracious forgiveness.

We ask that You would help us to forsake the idols that we have allowed to be set up in our lives. We ask for You to purge the laziness and apathy that has held Your people back from fully engaging in the great war for souls.

Lord, revive us, stir up our hearts to passionately pursue You! May the things of this world grow strangely dim in the brilliance of Your glorious face! May You reign over our hearts and may Your Spirit burn bright in the hearts of your people!

God, send us out to battle and may we press on until the trump sounds or we take our final breath!

Lord, our hearts are Yours, our lives are Yours, may our desires be Yours, and may Your Son Jesus Christ shine fiercely through our lives!

We love You Lord and we acknowledge You as King of kings and Ruler over all!

In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names, we pray, amen.