"If...My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)
America is at a crossroads. The problem is, I don't think most people even realize it. Why? Because their whole focus is on themselves. They want to make sure that the government sees that they are taken care of mentally, emotionally, and physically, and the government has stepped into the role of God as the provider of their needs. And I want to tell you something: it does not work, because the focus is on us and on the government. And so as we get ready to elect a president of the United States of America, as we get ready to elect new congressmen, what direction is our nation going to take?
Together, we've been looking at Ezekiel chapter 14, where God tells his people to "...'Repent and turn away from your idols....'" (Ezekiel 14:6) Don't set up idols in your heart and then expect to be able to go to God and to pray and to have Him answer your prayers! I want to challenge you to get on your face before God, to cry out to God and say, "God, I know that you hear the prayers of Your people. And I know "if Your people, who are called by Your name will humble themselves, turn from their wicked ways, pray, seek Your face, and turn from their wicked ways, then You will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and will heal their land." (See 2 Chronicles 7:13-14) Beloved, as people who are called by His name, we have an enormous responsibility and an enormous honor. With pure, repentant hearts, we can approach God, beseeching Him on behalf of our nation.
There is a grassroots movement that is calling people to prayer every Thursday at 12 noon; from 12 to 12:30 or from 12 to 1:00. It is in the spirit and after the pattern of what God began another September, over 150 years ago. In 1857, there was a man by the name of Jeremiah Calvin Lanphier. The Dutch Reformed Church was thinking about closing the door of a church because people were leaving that part of New York City. They hired Lanphier to go out and canvas the neighborhood and see if people wanted to come to church there. So he went knocking on the doors, sharing the Word of God and handing out gospel tracts, but he wasn't getting anywhere. As he walked the streets, he noticed all these businessmen going by and he thought, "I know that they have burdens. Why don't we have a layman's businessmen's prayer meeting?" He prayed about it, and feeling that it was God that had dropped that thought into his mind, he had brochures, called handbills in those days, printed.
He hands out those handbills and he puts out posters that say that on September 23rd, 1857, they're going to gather together for prayer for one hour. They can come and go, and they can stay as long as they want. He puts out the handbill, then goes to the third floor of the Consistory — that's what they called the building — to this room where the handbills say he's gonna be and he waits and waits and waits. It was 12, 12:15, 12:20. No one shows up. Twelve-thirty; he's still by himself. Twelve-thirty-five or 12:40, the first person walks in. All they have left is 20 minutes of prayer, and in that last 20 minutes it ends up with six people in the room. But they decide that they're going to continue to seek God, so they meet week after week after week until eventually they decide this is so urgent they need to meet daily for prayer. So they make that announcement and the word spreads until the third floor is filled up. The second floor is filled up. The first floor is filled up. They have to move down the street to a Methodist church. And that began the Fulton Street revival.
Businessmen started packing out these prayer meetings. The word spread to Chicago and then to other cities. Finally the Herald Tribune newspaper sent a reporter whose report on what God was doing in answer to prayer hit the front page. Between a half million and a million people came to know the Lord as a direct result of those prayer meetings. They gave free telegraph time and one city would tell another city what was happening as a result of this. In October a financial crash came. Some men were opening the windows and jumping out to their death because they had lost everything, but no businessman that was coming to those prayer meetings ever took his life because he understood that it was God. You can read more about the Fulton Street Revival by going to our website at "preceptsforlife.com."
Beloved, it is time to pray; time to pray for this nation, time to pray that God would have mercy; time to call upon the Lord and time to remember that the hour is late, the time is short and God is about to move in judgment upon this nation and upon this earth because He watches over His Word to perform it. At Precept Ministries International, God has laid it upon our hearts to call the people of the United States of America to prayer on behalf of our nation every Thursday, through the rest of the year, that we might experience another Great Awakening in this country. Many of you have responded to this call for prayer, and are meeting to pray for God to move; for His Spirit to convict of sin, cleanse the church, and move through society to bring people to Him. If you haven't become part of this grassroots movement, I'm urging you go to our website, "preceptsforlife.com," and there you will find a link to prayer. Beloved, what does God want you to do?
In the days of Jeremiah, Israel’s spiritual condition was much like our nation’s today. God chose Jeremiah to call people to turn from sin and idolatry and return to Him. Facing unbelievable opposition, Jeremiah warned the people who wouldn’t listen of God’s holy wrath that would soon be poured out.
How can we get close to God—close enough to hear His voice, know His power and presence, “feel His pleasure,” as Eric Liddell put it in the movie, Chariots of Fire?
“The Times They Are A-Changin’,” Bob Dylan’s hit song from 1964, was right—they were changing! A generation of young “hippies” was convinced—American society was at the door to a cultural revolution. Thousands of “flower children” of the 1960s in Haight Ashbury (San Francisco) and Berkeley thought they would usher in communities of peace, love, unity, and sharing that would embarrass organizations representing traditional values (like churches).
If you’re in a difficult trial today my friend, if you’re confronted by an enemy or if you’re being seduced by your mind, by your desires, there’s a key question you need to ask before you head down a path to look for answers other than down the straight and narrow path of God’s Word.