HOW DO WE PRAY TODAY?

prayer walk-feet_225x147“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” Psalm 33:12

Does God bless nations? Some would reject the idea that God favors one nation over another, but history and the Bible are very clear. When families, neighborhoods, cities, or nations turn to the Lord, they are blessed. When they turn away from God and reject His ways, the blessing is removed. Throughout our history, most Americans and American leaders have sought and valued the blessing of God. My sense is that this is no longer true. The President may still end his speech with, “And may God bless America!” but there is no real intention of honoring God. It’s not just the President who lacks sincerity, it’s the majority of our people. Much of what we see happening in American society is offensive to God. I love our country and see much good, but I fear the blessing of God is being lifted.

What can we do? Today, May 5,  is the National Day of Prayer and a wave of prayers will be go up to the Lord from the East Coast to the West. If our nation is to turn back to God, if there is going to be a genuine revival, then it will need to start in the churches, not in Washington. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray…” The call to prayer is aimed at God’s people who bear the name of Jesus. That’s us! Will we heed the call?

I have some practical suggestions for today:

  1. To repent for the sins of our nation and community.
  2. To pray for our neighborhood and the people we are in daily contact with.
  3. To pray for a move of the Holy Spirit. We need power and holiness in the Church.
  4. Do a 20 minute prayer walk in your neighborhood or at work.

 The believers I know are extremely discouraged, embarrassed, and even disgusted over the national election and the campaign rhetoric of Democrats and Republicans. While we should be praying for our election, I remember an old saying, “ALL MINISTRY IS LOCAL MINISTRY.” This was true in the life of Jesus. He preached to, prayed for, ministered to, and healed those he was present with. He wasn’t focused on the drama in Rome, but on the challenges faced by those around him. He believed the Father placed people in his daily life so he could minister to them. It’s possible the political drama we now see being played out is something that can distract us from the ministry of Jesus. Instead of looking for ways to reach those nearest to us, we get caught up in fruitless controversies and Facebook posts. A prayer walk through your neighborhood might be a nice change of pace. If you have never done a prayer walk, it’s simple. Just walk around your neighborhood blessing homes and praying for specific needs you may be aware of: a sick neighbor, a crime spot, a new family that just moved in, an empty house that’s up for sale, etc. Before going on the walk, ask the Holy Spirit to help you see what He sees and ask Jesus to give you His heart. “Jesus, what would you pray for this home?” is a good prayer. Finally, if you run into anyone on your walk, introduce yourself and ask them, “I’m out here praying for our neighborhood. Is there anything I can pray for you?”

Grace and peace,

Pastor Bill