Our nation, indeed our world, is in crisis. We live in days never seen before. Yet, even in this day, I wonder how much of what we do and how we pray is done with urgency and with a broken heart.
God is our sure defense and hope. Prayer is our greatest resource. Yet, many of us can’t remember what we prayed for this morning. We rattle off prayers that aren’t much more than “Now I lay me down to sleep.” But today, prayer and fasting must become the order of the day.
We must be like the prophet Daniel who, as he read Jeremiah’s prophecies, realized the days were critical in God’s timetable for Israel. Similarly, I believe the hour for the Church is desperate. The saints must wake up and be called to serious prayer. Only believing, repenting, prayer, and fasting can hold back the floodtides of sin and judgment and release the cleansing power of the Lord Jesus Christ upon our personal lives and our nation.
A Call to Prayer
I’m calling the church to prayer. Not ordinary prayer, but extraordinary prayer—serious, concentrated prayer, accompanied by fasting, that can touch the heart of God.
Daniel “set his face” to fast and pray (Daniel 9:3). Have you really set your face to prayer? Have you ever desperately sought the Lord? It’s not the rhetoric or eloquence of your prayers but the faith and fervency that gets your prayer to God. We witness without tears. We pray without fasting. No wonder we sow without reaping and have powerless prayer lives.
Our Lord Jesus expects His church to pray (Matthew 6). Sometimes when the anger and righteous judgment of God is coming against a nation, if that nation will fast and pray, His judgment will be stayed. Jonah saw it happen in Nineveh (Jonah 3:5).
Our God is a God of righteousness, judgment, and justice, but He’d rather show mercy than send judgment.
At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom to pluck up and pull down and destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from its evil, I will repent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. (Jeremiah 18:7,8)
We’re in a cosmic battle, not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. Prayer is a guided missile that travels at the speed of light. No other missile can shoot it down. It can go anywhere. We can pray with fasting and send that missile against the enemies of righteousness.
Prayer and Fasting Shatter Strongholds
People have strongholds of fear, bitterness, unforgiveness, addictions. Fasting can demolish the enemy’s strongholds in our lives. (Isaiah 58:6)
When Daniel sought God’s face, Israel was in trouble because of national sin. God had brought the Babylonians against them. Most were taken captive or killed. If we are to stay God’s hand of judgment, America needs to confess our national sins of pride, materialism, neglect of the poor, racism, sexual immorality, the merciless killing of the unborn, and Godless humanism that bans the name of God from the public square.
We are to pray with confession of personal sin and national sin—not merely to get out of trouble so people can go back to their own careless, selfish lives—but to bring God glory. Do you want revival for your nation’s sake or for God’s sake? Our desire must be for the glory of God. When we begin to pray for the glory of God, God moves in.
It is prayer time in America. These are desperate days. It’s time for people who know our God, whomever they may be, to seek His face in prayer for our nation. We must set ourselves in prayer and fasting for our nation.