"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

Items For Prayer And Praise

By Lois J. Stucky

    In nearly every newspaper we pick up, and on every TV or radio station we tune to, we hear of candidates and elections, speeches and politics. The nation is absorbed with it. This is natural. This is an important time for our nation.  But we must realize that all of this which is absorbing Americans in this hour is but as a wave on our nation’s voyage into history.

    In the midst of it all, might I ask myself as a Christian, am I keeping my focus right?

    True, we are fond of the homeland in which God has placed us. We appreciate the benefits we enjoy in this land. We want our country and its people to have peace and prosperity – "that we may lead a quiet life and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (1 Tim. 2:2). We need to be informed enough to vote wisely and to pray effectively to this end.  God wants leaders who are just and God-fearing, men through whom God can get His will done. We have a responsibility to do our part in an effort to get this kind of leaders.

    God has prospered the church in this land to take a great part in spreading the Gospel to the far ends of the earth. We care a great deal that our nation is in many ways in decline. We face ruin and judgment unless there is repentance. God's purposes to continue to use this nation for spreading the Gospel will be disrupted.

    We need revival and we want to see our nation restored. Revivals of any degree through the years, with conviction on sin and with genuine repentance, have had wonderful effect on society and the national life.

    In 1863 when our country was torn by civil strife, the Senate of the United States requested President Abraham Lincoln to designate and declare a day of national prayer and humiliation. In his proclamation of April 30, 1863 as such a day, he expressed his belief that the war was a judgment of God. He wrote to the people of America:

    "We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

    "It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

    An historian has written, "Never in the history of mankind was a civil war followed so quickly by a reconciliation so genuine and so perfect." Surely God showed mercy as the people humbled themselves, repented and sought Him. President Lincoln's proclamation is a timely one for today as well. In the confessing of sins and praying for forgiveness, Christians must take the lead. We do well to seek for restoration in our nation.

    But let us keep our sights on the lofty heights of God's eternal program for all mankind of all nations. In the building of God's eternal kingdom, revival has a part. In the consummation of this age and the inauguration of the next, revival has a part. In the bringing back of the Divine King, revival has a part.

    Might our supreme motive as we seek revival be God's honor and glory. He is most glorified in a church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. God’s desire is to have a fitting Body for the glorious Head – the Lord Jesus Christ. He is glorified in a church filled with the Holy Spirit, walking in the Spirit – obedient and holy, delighting in God, with love abounding and joy overflowing. Before such a church, sin and Satan are overcome and souls are delivered.

    Everywhere around the world the desperate need is for a mighty visitation of God to bring this into being. Let us not neglect the needs in our nation today, but let us not be sidetracked from the great and glorious thing God wants to do throughout the world. Let us, as it were, "go for the gold" as the Olympic athletes did – sacrificing much, if need be, in order to win the prize. And our prize is the presence and glory of our great and wonderful God manifest in and through His people in revival power!