Published Sept. 25, 2012

Paul's Epistle...
"Are Christians Praying?"

"Are Christians in America praying?"

That challenging but perhaps unexpected question was posed to David Butts when he was in Jakarta, Indonesia, earlier this year for the World Prayer Assembly. The question came from six different prayer leaders from six different countries who told him they had been mobilizing their intercessors to pray for the upcoming elections in the United States.

Butts, the National Prayer Committee chairman, thought, "If Christians in China, India, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia and Great Britain are praying for our elections, how can we not?"

More Christians leaders are calling for fervent prayer in advance of these elections than at any comparable time in recent memory. It's a reaction to the ever-accelerating downward spiral we're seeing in moral standards, fostered and hastened by secular media and by government — both of which are predominately and demonstrably anti-God.

Rev. Billy Graham, 93, has said, "Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern." He also said, "My heart aches for America and its deceived people... Self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle."

Rev. Graham and many others are endorsing the "40 Days To Save America" program – a national call to prayer, fasting and repentance in the 40 days prior to the election. A kickoff event will be the "America for Jesus" "solemn assembly" this weekend (Saturday, Sept. 29) in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. As the AFJ website proclaims, "We can no longer allow our nation to stay on the course of widespread moral depravity. The time is now! The hour of awakening is upon us!"

Another group with such a project is Christian Endeavor International. CEI President Tim Eldred says their "Pray31" campaign throughout the 31 days of October has this purpose: "Our nation needs so much at this time, but there's nothing we need more than prayer. The solutions we seek are spiritual, not political; and Pray31 is a response to the overwhelming weight of the issues facing America. We must call out to God in prayer because only with His empowerment and blessing can we meet these challenges successfully." Indeed.

Often quoted in connection with such programs and events is 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land."

That promise was originally given through Solomon to the people of Israel, and many say this specific promise applied only to them in that time. Perhaps. But God's principles are unchanging. Who would deny that if God's people today – Christians – would humble themselves, repent and pray fervently that He wouldn't hear from heaven and act in such a way as pleases Him? ( "...you do not have because you do not ask"—James 4:2b). The problem is that there are far too few devoted prayer intercessors for America. Too many have simply become discouraged and have given up. They seem to believe that not even God Himself could turn this sin-sick nation around now.

Some weeks ago in this column, I shared a letter from someone whose church had established 6 p.m. each evening for congregation members to stop whatever they were doing, wherever they were, to pray for this nation and the upcoming elections. I suggested, in passing, that perhaps it should be called "Project 7:14," in honor of the Scripture reference quoted above, and referring to a time to stop-and-pray each day at 7:14 a.m. or 7:14 p.m. – or both. One reader wrote back, "Thanks for the article about Project 7:14. I introduced it to our church on Sunday. It is an awesome way for Christians everywhere to stand together against the forces of darkness. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world..."  Perhaps you or your church would like to do this, too. 

There is nothing special about that 7:14 time – unless, of course, it's a "memory aid" to help you remember to pray for our nation during these trying times. And that's really the point. You can even set your wristwatch or cell phone alarm as a reminder. But pray at other times, too.  Pray anytime!  Pray all the time!  Pray for our government leaders (2 Tim. 2:1-4, Romans 13:1-7). Pray for the coming elections that God's will, given the choices we have, will be done. Pray against the forces of darkness that have their own anti-God agenda in these elections.

Check out the resources linked below (there are many others available, too) pertaining to the prayer campaigns mentioned above. But the most important thing to do is — PRAY!

- Paul

Links:
For the "40 Days of Prayer" program: http://www.40daysofprayer.net
For the "America For Jesus" site: http://www.afj2012.org
For the "40 Days to Save America" site: http://40daystosaveamerica.com
For the Christian Endeavor site: http://onemillionpray.com

Comments on this? paul@thegospelgreats.com

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