‘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.’
Since the first of the year I have been reading through the Bible once again. As I read about the different kings and their actions I quite often read “and he did evil in sight of the Lord”. It seems the kings would continually go backward, set up idols and turn from the ways of the Lord. As I have been reading and thinking about that I was reminded that in Ecclesiastes 1:9 it says “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
These thoughts got me to thinking about today. We are a society that has lost its way. It is not any one person’s fault; it has happened over time. Faith use to be of great importance to people and the life of a community centered round the church and the activities of the church. Over time we have allowed “idols” to sneak up on us. With the invention of the television an idol began to be set up in every household and it used the power of persuasion to convince us we needed to have all these other things in our homes. People began working more so they could get all those things and keep up with the neighbors. Entertainment became big business and became another idol that brings in millions of dollars for the industry. Many other idols such as sports, recreation, money, etc. have worked their way into our lives without us even realizing it. You see, an idol is anything that takes God out of first place in our lives. Where does that leave the American people today? I believe God would say “they have done evil in sight of the Lord”.
But, there is hope. God is a God of grace and He offers us a way back to Him. If we turn to 2 Chronicles 7:14 and follow the instructions given we can turn the tide of our nation and bring about change. It begins with individual Christians humbling themselves before God and praying. This is not a little prayer of “oh God forgive me and take care of the land.” This is seeking the face of God and confessing our sins to Him. When we repent it means to turn from, so after repenting we need to turn from those wicked ways and make changes in our lives. God in turn promises to hear, forgive and heal the land. This doesn’t happen overnight and it takes more than one or two doing the crying out.
I have recently read a book by Charles Stanley titled ‘Turning the Tide.’ He talks about the importance of the people taking back our land for Christ and he makes a challenge for people to pray. God nudged me through that to call for a time of prayer each Thursday at 12:15. We are meeting at the First United Methodist Church at 600 W Lincoln for 30 minutes. We are using Stanley’s prayer guide as we pray for our local, state and national leadership as well all the issues we face as individuals and as a nation. I invite all who can to join us and those who can’t to take time to pray where you are. This is not about any one church but about taking back the land for God and building the kingdom here on earth. We have much work to do and a short time to accomplish that work. If you believe it is time to take back this land for God come join in this prayer time and let us pray with one accord for our nation.
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