Letter to the editor: Americans need to pray and repent

One of the most exciting trends currently is that there is a growing conviction that we cannot fix ourselves. While some may be discouraged with that fact, it is encouraging because that means that some of us Americans are learning moment by moment that God alone is the answer and every crisis we face nationally and globally is real.

Our greatest crisis is not political, but spiritual.

For the past several months, a few church leaders have been urging believers in Jesus Christ to pray fervently for revival in the Church, thereby causing an awakening among clergy and congregants in this nation.

At a meeting of church leaders recently, one speaker said, “The need of the hour is great. The hour is late. The alarm clock is going off in the Church and going off in the life of our nation. No longer can one push the snooze button. The most strategic initiative that any one of us can take is to appeal to the God of Heaven, Who alone can do more in a moment than any one human can do in a lifetime. We need to appeal to Him today for Him to do what only He can and will do for individuals, families, churches and our country for His glory. When we pray aright, it shows that we depend on God. When we do not pray, it shows we depend on ourselves.”

One can cite examples of national prayer and fasting (from the Old Testament and New Testament) by God’s people as they repented and petitioned Him in dire circumstances. King Hezekiah and King Jehoshaphat knew what to do in the midst of impossible threats of attack. They tore their robes, fasted and prayed and led their people – a whole nation – in prayers of repentance for the wickedness of their ways, for confession of individual sins and national sins (2 Kings 19-20; 2 Chronicles 29-30, 32).

The enemy attacks were part of God’s judgment on His people for forsaking Him, disobeying His commands and bringing a reproach on His name.

In Acts 4, under threats from Jewish leaders, believers appealed to God for boldness to witness for their faith in Jesus Christ. Prayer was not their last and desperate choice – it was their first choice. Prayer is work.

A similar appeal was recorded in American history by 18th Century pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards, a leader in America’s first Great Awakening. He asked clergy and laity alike to join in unison for praying for the common good from God as they knew they deserved judgment for their forsaking Him (just as we are doing today). God in His mercy heard the heartfelt cries of His people as they turned from their wicked ways and sought His forgiveness.

History repeats itself. We, too, today can find that this is the day of salvation for our nation and its people individually and collectively. May there be more than  a million people nationwide on their knees praying on June 28 (Call2Fall) to implore God Almighty for His mercy, grace, forgiveness and along with every heart committed to turn from one’s wicked ways so He will send judgment along with mercy and help from above in accordance with His will. He still hears the cry of the humble petitioner. Praise Him for His mercy, grace and help for the repentant.