"God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; That thy way may be known upon earth, thy salvation among all nations" (Ps 67:1-2)
Prayer for the Nation - The Searching Heart of God
Many around the nation have been in diligent prayer for the nation in this time of crisis and national decision. There have been multiple 40 day initiatives leading up to the elections, many with fasting. I have included below 7 Areas of National Focus that have been on my heart. Whether fervent prayer regarding these or other areas the LORD may be whispering or shouting to you ... May we be among those who are found, when God Himself seeks and searches ...
"And I sought for a man, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land" (Ezek 22:30)
BREAK-OUT Prayer for the Nation
“One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All”
Righteousness and Justice (Ps 37:6, 89:14, 97:2-3, Rev 8:3-5, Ps 2:8)
With the weight of an economic crisis pulling our nation down, and a long extended election season tearing our nation apart, may we respond with humility in repentance and prayer, confirmed with authority in the declaration of the Word and promise of God.
"And I sought for a man, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land … (Ezek 22:30)
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chr 7:14)
SEVEN Areas of National Focus
in Prayer and Agreement
The Nation - Repentance, Revival, and Reformation
Preparing the way and the door of humility - as God starts with the heart to impact a man, so He starts with the His people to impact a nation:
• Prayer regarding Personal/Corporate Humility, Prayer, Repentance (2 Chr 7:14, Joel 2:12-15, Hos 14:1, Neh 1, Dan 9:3-21)
• Prayer regarding Revival that leads to reformation (Ezek 37, Isa 62)
• Prayer regarding MORAL CLARITY – good/evil, MORAL DIRECTION OF OUR NATION (1 Ki 18); David/Goliath – Is there not a cause (1 Sam 17:29);
• Prayer regarding Fulfillment of God’s Calling and Purpose for us as a Nation (more specific focus below)
The Nation - We the People (perspective)
As the principles that govern an individual, so the same is true for the corporate body of a nation - those who share common citizenship as a people:
• Prayer for the nation, as you would pray for a man ...
• Prayer regarding propagation of such selfish/self-centered perspective – what will government do for me, what will administration do for me; what ever happened to “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” (President John F. Kennedy)
• Prayer regarding our mouth and the national media - biting and devouring, with irrational dishonor and disrespect for offices and persons - it is possible to disagree respectfully and without maligning character and individuals
• Prayer regarding Honor/Respect for Authority/Office - Right honor and relation between elder and younger (in families, among authorities, among congregations, etc.); Honoring father/mother as well as spiritual and civil/governmental elders, city fathers, and authorities
• Prayer regarding the Generations, Families, Marriages, Youth - Hearts of Fathers turned to children (Mal 4:6); Families, Homes, and institution of MARRIAGE, Youth, Children, the UNBORN (Ps 127:3, Ps 70);
• Prayer regarding commitment to the PROTECTION, PRESERVATION, and HEALING of our Nation – advocate vs. accuser, united heart as a nation to do what must be done to secure peace and freedom; for courage not fear (Josh 1:9); strength to stand not waver
The Nation - The Church
There is an office and role in the nation that only the church can fulfill - like the priestly and prophetic voice to the kings of old, governing authorities in affairs of state must hear an unwavering voice that comforts the afflicted, defends the innocent, and reproves injustice:
• Prayer for the church, as you would pray for the heart or spirit of a man
• Prayer regarding our being salt and light! To preserve this nation, we cannot pretend moral laws are less real than physical laws, or the personal and national consequences will be devastating (Matt 5:13-15).
• Prayer regarding our providing a MORAL PLUMBLINE to the nation, and a VOICE of CONSCIENCE to the nation that cannot be quenched
• Prayer regarding that together the generations would fulfill purpose of God: joining wisdom of elder with zeal of the younger; testimony of one generation to another, that we night not forget God nor His works (Ps 78); Those with spirit of Joshua/Caleb joined with younger generation to enter promise (Josh 1)
The Nation – Elections/Offices of Authority
We are in a place where our nation cries out for a king and a savior (1 Sam 8:5, 19-20, 1 Sam 12) and we are looking to man, to administrations, and to government. May we look to God, who alone is King and Savior and Deliverer - whether of men or of nations - and discern the right role of civil and governmental authorities in earth.
• Prayer for offices and persons of authority, as you would pray for authorities (the head) of an individual man
• Prayer regarding those in Authority: (1 Tim 2:1-2) leaders and candidates in every branch (executive, legislative, judicial)
• Prayer regarding RIGHTEOUS and JUST leaders to be elected – President, Senators, Congressmen (Prov 14:34, 16:12, 29:4); Wisdom to choose/see as God chooses/sees (He looks upon heart, not pedigree/strength/experience/eloquence) that we may choose David not Saul (1 Sam 16:7, Deut 30:19); Christian community to be salt/light providing Godly influence in political process (Matt 5:13-15, 22:21)
• Prayer regarding the Courts and Judges:(Amos 5:15, 24, Ps 82, Ps 11:3); Shift in the courts back to the Biblical foundations our laws and nation were founded upon (Isa 1:26-27); Appointment of righteous judges who fear God (2 Chr 19). Justice: defending the innocent, the vulnerable, the exploited, the defenseless, the needy (Prov 21:3, 31:9, Isa 1:16-18) – Roe v Wade/Abortion and holocaust of 40,000,000 children (Prov 31:8); The fatherless, the widow, the immigrant, the poor, the afflicted; Other areas of injustice, prejudice, relational issues (Native, African American, Hispanic)
The Nation – Economy/Financial Health
The fruits and resources of the nation languish, as in famines of the past - may we discern there can be more than stock portfolios and business decisions that also impact economies, provisions, and resources - whether personal or national (2 Sam 21)
• Prayer for fruit of labor and industry and wisdom to steward, as you would pray for the fruit and work of the hands and mind of a man
• Prayer regarding Mammon, and concern all about the “pocket book” rather than what is RIGHT and JUST, or what is the root and cause of these issues
• Prayer regarding the MORTGAGE CRISIS, BANKING/CREDIT CRISIS, oil/gas dependence (and exploitation), personal and national consequence and right response
• Prayer regarding government’s right role in this – wisdom for leaders to truly discern, clear direction, not band-aid or rushing due to election cycle, panic, or fear
The Nation - International Relationships
• Prayer for national relationships, as you would pray for the relationships of a man
• Prayer regarding the War on Terror – for governmental/military Leaders, wisdom in how to execute war, and bring evildoers to justice (Rom 13:3-4); military leaders and military families (those on the front lines and those at home), What is hidden to be revealed, deception/veil, vicious hatred quenched (Osama/leaders in terror exposed and captured)
• Prayer regarding ISRAEL – US-Israel relationship, friend-ally, international hostility, Palestinian peace process, Jerusalem’s status, new leadership, Iran/Persia, Middle East – rage/hate exposed, redemptive purpose of God for these nations (Haman Est 3:10-13, Cyrus Isa 45, Ezra 1)
• Prayer regarding relationships with Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia
The Nation - Calling and Purpose of God
• Prayer for the discerning and fulfilling of calling and divine purpose, as you would pray the same for an individual man
• Prayer regarding us truly being “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All”
• Prayer regarding us truly being a "Beacon of freedom and hope among the nations"
• Prayer regarding “E pluribus unum” (Latin "Out of many, One") – unity with diversity, ONE nation, and our literally being a nation of nations
• Prayer regarding using strength to defend the weak, using our voice to speak on behalf of those who have none, using our gifts/strengths to serve and bless other nations
The same God who heals the heart of a man, is just as able to heal a fractured nation. It is He also who can bring water from a rock or give bread from heaven (or by ravens) in times when national wells are dry, and resources barren. May we give honor to offices and authorities among men as is right, but may our hope as a nation be found in God - He alone is Savior, Redeemer, Lord, and King ... of men and of nations!
A Cry from the Heart - Concerning LIFE and death ...
Concerning LIFE and death ...
The following is much bigger than a party or a candidate, but a heart cry regarding what many (including myself) believe to be the singular most pivotal and far-reaching issue facing our nation in this generation - the legally sanctioned shedding of innocent blood. Each of us must prayerfully weigh the many national issues being faced ... through faith, conscience, and the plumbline of scripture. I encourage and challenge each of us to include the following cry as we weigh these matters toward personal/national decisions - not only in the upcoming election, but in all that influences the future direction of our nation.
May the LORD grant us moral clarity in what are the weightiest matters
of law and faith in His sight, for they will carry the greatest personal and national consequence ... if we err, may He instruct us more perfectly ... He is faithful.
PS I took liberty to add highlights, emphasis, and pictures for the purpose of this strategic update ...
A Cry to the Black Church of America - Concerning LIFE and death ...
Lou Engle - October 23, 2008
Since 1776 this great country has been a beacon of light to the rest of humanity in demonstrating the divinely allocated value of each and every human individual. Though America has struggled to ensure freedom for every people, her enduring attitude “liberty for all” has prevailed at least in measure to every race, gender, and creed. Our country was securely built on foundational truths that, though at times have been wanting in application, have remained our countries basic societal and moral cornerstones. Thomas Jefferson articulated these basic values in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is this credo that has driven this nation to the heights of glory and power it currently resides in. The Constitution that governs this nation was founded on the belief that no man’s freedom can come at the cost of another and all men deserve to live free of repressive edicts, fear of death, and tyrannical oppression.
With this freedom in mind, forty-five years ago on August 28 a great prophet Martin Luther King trumpeted the sound of “I HAVE A DREAM” in front of thousands gathered at the mall in Washington D.C. It was from King’s resounding voice that hope was re-kindled in the hearts of a people who for years had been bound by oppressive chains of racial segregation and bigotry. They stood on that day in the shadow of the great memorial of President Lincoln in which is engraved the words of the Gettysburg Address: “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” This dream spoke of by King was a dream carved out of the bloody backs and sweaty brow of slave ancestors; it was a dream re-birthed out of the thousands of dead soldiers bodies that littered the killing fields of Antietam, Gettysburg, Manassas; and it was a dream forged from the sweltering heat of poverty, segregation, and racism.
Abraham Lincoln, a man well versed in the scriptures, most certainly drew his inspiration from Numbers 35:33, “So you shall not pollute the land where you are, for blood defiles the land and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it except by the blood of him who shed it” as well as Genesis 9:5-6 “ Surely for your life blood I will demand a reckoning… Whoever sheds mans blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God he made man.” Lincoln came to understand that the Civil War was God’s divine discipline upon a people and a nation who refused to live according to God’s laws. Lincoln was aware that the Civil War was a day of reckoning for the horrific injustice of slavery and the shedding of innocent blood done in the name of economic gain and racial oppression. If what Lincoln came to conclude was true and if 600,000 men died on the battlefields of the Civil War for the blood of slavery, what will it mean if God brings a day of reckoning for the shed blood of conservatively 48 million aborted babies since Roe v. Wade 1973?
The dark shadow of abortion stretches itself across the moral fabric of our nation. Since the landmark case Roe v. Wade in 1973, yearly the blood of up to 1.3 million babies has been spilled upon American soil. Undermining the basic foundational moral and societal cornerstones laid in both scripture and by our founding fathers, abortion strikes against the very life of our nation. A living, moving, feeling, and breathing child being abducted from the womb is not a “side-line” socio-political issue. We are talking about the murder of a child- a child who is just as “human” as the African American slave one hundred and fifty years ago working the cotton fields.
John Noonan, Professor of Law at the University of California says it this way, “Once or twice in a century an issue arises…So far reaching in its consequences and so deep in its foundations that it calls every person to take a stand.” In past times the forced removal of Native American Tribes from their homes was such an issue but very few took their stand. Slavery was such an issue, and the civil rights movement carried this kind of moral gravity. Undoubtedly there were many issues during the days prior to the Civil War that pressed upon the nation but God was bringing one issue to a divine apex. Based on whatever side you took in that day history now stands in judgment of you. And so it will be another forty years from now. History will stand in judgment of a nation that appallingly aborted its own children and assigned millions of her post-abortive women to live lives plagued with shame, regret and devastated relationships.
This is not the end: the ready access to abortion now is fueling the worldwide proliferation of human sex trafficking in which women are kidnapped and forced to have sex with men 10-20 times a night. When these women become pregnant, they are then compelled to abort their children in order to remain economically useful. How is this for fruit of the feminist cause célèbre? We have ended up enslaving our own daughters! We are unleashing a sexual insanity into the earth in epic proportions and abortion is the atomic bomb that has cleared the way for the gradual destruction of our nation’s moral values. This is not just a social issue; this is the shedding of innocent blood. Blood affects the spiritual realm and fuels the demonization of a whole culture.
In the scriptures state sanctioned shedding of innocent blood is the ultimate crime, a crime that God would not pardon. 2 Kings 24:4 records that God removed Judah out of his sight because of the sin of Manasseh, “because of the innocent blood that he had shed, for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which the Lord would not pardon.” Brothers and sisters, legalized shedding of innocent blood as in the case of Roe v. Wade is much different than a decision of our president to go to war wisely or unwisely to fight against Muslim terrorists. Yes, appallingly much shedding of the innocent blood of civilians has taken place in Iraq, and over 4000 of our own soldiers have died. But this decision is not the biblical understanding of the legally encoded right to kill innocents, of whom the most innocent are babies both born and unborn.
A great turn has been taking place in America on the ideology of Abortion. Movies are shouting adoption is a better answer than abortion. The movie Horton Hears A Who prophesies to millions that, “a person’s a person no matter how small.” Judges have been appointed in the US Supreme Court and the lower courts that are now ruling against partial birth abortion and agreeing that a child in the womb is a unique human life.
Today we live in the shadow of possibly the most defining election in American history, and lamentably as I write this, millions of believers of Jesus are being courted by a mans charisma rather than his voting record. Senator Obama stated publicly, “35 years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade its never been more important to protect a women’s right to choose…Through my career, I have been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice and have consistently had 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL pro-choice America.” We have come to a moment in which America will choose LIFE or DEATH, and the church, called to be the prophetic conscience of a nation, melts away like snow in the summer heat awash in a sea of moral relativism.
As in the days of slavery and in the days of segregation, it was the moral blindness and silence of the church, even her involvement in the national sin, that caused generations after to wonder, how could a nation built on such godly foundations drift so far? The moral confusion within the church today over the issue of abortion is strangely reminiscent of a mindset that existed within the church in the midst of segregation and slavery. I believe as the church we have come to a defining moment in American history. In our repentance we may prayerfully see an end to the decrees of death legalized in Roe v. Wade and a new movement of adoption and compassion spring forth from the church of America. Likewise, if we fail to respond to the crisis of bloodshed within our nation and continue to waiver between two opinions, we may very well go through the fires of an ordeal that will shake this nation to its knees.
I believe that this election will literally be the churches’ choice between life and death and that it all comes down to this one singular issue. We can no longer “reason the issue away” as if it was just progressive maternal healthcare. 2008 is not entirely unlike 1858, the year that the Supreme Court of America ruled in Dred Scott v. Sanford that the slave was not a person but was property. Three years later, in 1861, the Civil War was unleashed and men went into battle singing, “Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory Of The Coming Of The Lord, He is Trampling Out The Vintage Where The Grapes of Wrath are Stored, He Has Loosed The Fateful Lightning Of His Terrible Swift Sword, His Truth Is Marching On.” Though they may not have known it, they were prophesying God’s day of reckoning against the bloodshed of slavery. God is not mocked, what you sow you will reap America. For 150 years after Dred Scott, Roe v. Wade now flies its bloody banner over America and it has yet to see what the reckoning looks like.
A group of young people who have been standing for four years in front of the Supreme Court pleading the cause of the unborn with LIFE tape over there mouths were given a dream. In the dream, they were going from court room to court room to court room which then lead to a long hallway and entered into a large court room and there God was preparing to bring His own court case against Roe v. Wade and in the dream the name of that court was Appomattox Court House. Appomattox is where God finished His court case against Dred Scott. Because Americas courts did not deal with slavery in its own halls of justice God took it to the Appomattox Court House where General Lee of the South surrendered to General Grant of the North. This was after 600,000 men’s blood was poured out on the battlefield of the Civil War as the full payment for the blood shed of slavery. Brothers and sisters, what will Appomattox Court House look like if America doesn’t deal with Roe v. Wade in her own courts.
On September 15th 1963, 2 weeks after the “I Have A Dream” speech, a bomb exploded in Birmingham 16th Street Baptist Church and 4 young black girls were killed. Martin Luther King was shattered with grief. What was equally heart rending as the atrocity was the appalling silence of the white majority. The white church either did not care or no one in it was willing to challenge the heavy politically correct atmosphere of racism that hung over those dark days. In his eulogy King called the girls, “Heroines of a holy crusade for freedom and human dignity whose deaths tell us to work passionately and unceasingly to make the American dream a reality. “Then he declared, “they did not die in vain, God still has a way of wringing good out of evil. History is proved again and again that unearned suffering is redemptive. The innocent blood of these little girls may well serve as a redemptive force that will bring new light to this city.”
Today we affirm mightily that those girls deaths were not in vain. Today, a black man, Barak Obama has moved the nation running as a candidate for President. On November 4th, millions of black men and women can vote in America and for this we rejoice. But to my black brothers and sisters I am constrained to ask, was the innocent blood of those precious girls in Birmingham of any other biological makeup than the innocent blood of 4,000 babies (Psalms 106:37-38) who today was spilled in abortion clinics across America, 35% of which are Black American? Are not these little ones as much, “heroines of a holy crusade for freedom in human dignity as those 4 little girls?” And will not their innocent blood serve as a redemptive force that will bring new light to this dark nation? Or will the blood of these babies be the target of another “generation of oppression” who demand sexual freedoms at the expense and suffering of the most marginalized voiceless people group in America, the unborn? If the blood of these unborn human babies is a redemptive force (and they are human beings if we indeed believe the scriptures we preach), then does not the deafening silence of the mass of black and white pulpits over this great human tragedy weigh heavy against our people on the eternal scales of justice?
Was it wrong that Martin Luther King was disappointed with the white church in Birmingham? No, a million times no! Then will it be wrong to say that I am deeply disappointed with the Black American church whose voice is virtually silent amidst this holocaust and in the whirlwind of this presidential election. I will never know the pain of your past, your experience of poverty, or your history of lynching, but I am convinced that the “promised land” that King saw, will not be found in some political “messiah” that promises change. In a speech before Planned Parenthood immediately after the Supreme Court had righteously upheld a ban on partial birth abortion, Senator Obama declared that the first thing he would do as president would be the drafting of the Freedom Of Choice Act. This act would virtually remove every restriction from every abortion procedure from conception to birth and could possibly even permit live birth abortions. In his speech Obama went on to say “ we know that a woman’s right to make a decision about how many children she wants and when – without government interference is one of the most fundamental freedoms we have in this country.” Where did this fundamental right to abort our children spring from? Not from our forefathers and certainly not the scriptures. But here again the ancient lie asserts itself just as it did in the days of our constitutional forefathers. They refused to include the black slave in the ancient credo “liberty for all.” They built their freedoms on the bloody backs of slaves and now we demand our freedoms on the dismembered limbs of our children. Can we by conscience make alliance with this ideological and political throne? In Matthew 23 Jesus cries out “Woe to you scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites because you build the tombs of the prophets, (like we have done with the Abraham Lincoln Memorial and numerous memorials to Martin Luther King) and adorn the monuments of the righteous and say, if we had lived in the days of our fathers we would not had been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up then the measure of your fathers guilt.” (Matthew 23:29-32) The modern day equivalent to this scripture would be ——- If one honors Abraham Lincoln and agrees with his quotes engraved on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial, “…Till every drop of blood drawn by lash must be repaid by that drawn by the sword…” and then supports and votes for a man and a system that legalizes the shedding of blood of babies, then truly this one accuses himself before the very words of Jesus and agrees with the masters indictment, “Pharisee and hypocrite.” In your silence and in effect acceptance of abortion, and now in your voting you become like the sons of the white slave bosses and slave traders and the silent white church of America who enslaved and murdered the black race.
I write these things not with a vindictive spirit, I only ask that you prayerfully listen to my argument. I have prayed for 5 years for the Black American Church to lead us into a national healing for that is your redemptive gift. I have wept in intercession in Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham. I have walked the Trail of Tears. The Lord has shown us that abortion is connected to the ongoing injustices to the Black and Native Americans. Now is the time to forgive us and unite against this holocaust of abortion. Today I take courage and am filled with hope as I see a new company of black voices arising in America who are raising their voice against abortion declaring that the dream cannot live as long as we kill our children and wound our women. These are the new black prophets who carry forgiveness in their hearts like Martin Luther King toward those who have oppressed them, who hold holiness of heart as a life standard, and in whom prayer is their breath. They are calling their people out of the fog of political alliances into the bright shining light of that ancient prophetic promise, “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers unless I come and strike the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6) The turning of the fathers to the children is the remedy to the curse, not the raising up of a charismatic leader. Church of America, abortion is the complete antithesis to Malachi’s divine remedy.
Again to my black brothers and sisters, in California black leaders have raised their voice to ban same-sex marriage that was legalized this year by four judges who over-ruled the will of the people. I thank God for your faithful stand on the Word. But when you vote for Barak Obama you are aligning yourself with one who has stated firmly that he will appoint judges who will legally affirm the gay agenda. By doing so you actually contradict your own moral stand and you throw open the door to a flood of immoral rulings that will affect not just your children but also the generations to come in America.
Some of the black church may say while reading this “What Shall We Do?” Forgive the white people, the US Government, and the white church for its lack of care for the poor and its racism. If you forgive you will receive redemptive authority like no other people group to lead this nation into the sunlit future of revival and reformation. Take up your prophetic calling again and lead the nation into true justice. Demand the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Expose her racist root springing from Margaret Sanger who targeted the black race for extinction. We must disarm her authority of immorality and take the millions of her death dollars and turn it into a stream of life to the inner cities. We must raise up massive mentoring programs across the nation and the church must lead the coming movement of adoption. Lets launch prayer and fasting movements that can alone challenge the spiritual darkness over our inner cities. We must proliferate crisis pregnancy centers and pregnant mothers homes. Then let us with one voice Black, White, Latino, and Asian, as was the dream of MLK, lift up a mighty chorus of fasting and prayer for God’s divine intervention in America. More than change, we need God’s mercy for the shedding of innocent blood. Let the dream go on for the binding of the wounds of our racial division and for the ending of abortion that together we may see another Azusa Street revival that was birthed by that great black prophet William Seymour. May the Black church of America lead us into another great move of justice and into another Great Awakening in America!
Informed Intercession - Fervent Prayer and Decisive Action