As the US government becomes more untethered from you, many are praying for a national awakening. It is as though humankind sits on a three-legged stool. The legs are social, political, and spiritual. The social and political legs are heavily influenced by the spiritual (or the lack thereof). The spiritual portion has become weaker as citizens have turned away from you and relied on the government instead. Galatians chapter 5 verse 1 reads. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” The social leg and the political leg may misinterpret “freedom” as self-rule, thus saying, “It is for self-rule that Christ has set us free.” But the religious leg interprets “freedom” as a relationship with God, thus saying, “It is for a relationship with God that Christ has set us free.”
2 Samuel 15:4, Absalom says, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me, and I would see that they receive justice.” Am I wrong to identify this “justice” and the “justice” in Amos 6:12 (NIV-Masoretic footnote) as a craving for power?
Do horses run on the rocky crags?
Does one plow the sea with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison
and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness
Which is worse?
Which is the more egregious sin of a nation? Is it the idolization of self-rule or power?
Dear God, I know all sin is equally wrong to you. Romans 3:23-24 (NIV) reads: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.Yes, I know this refers to individuals, but you, Oh God, deal with countries also.
You told Jeremiah in Jeremiah 18 the following: “If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.”
A List of Awakenings
God, how long will you wait for America’s repentance? Will you, Oh God, awaken Americans once more? You gave America an awakening circa; 1730–1755. It is referred to as The First Great Awakening. Jonathon Edwards made a famous hellfire & brimstone sermon. The sermon’s title, “Sinners in The Hands of an Angry God, “was compelling to the people of the time. Another Great Awakening (The Second) occurred circa; 1790 to 1840. There was a Third Awakening from about 1855 to 1930. Some argue that there was a Fourth Awakening from 1960 to 1980. If there was, Martin Luther King Jr., Billy Graham, and Pope John Paul II would be considered part of that period.
You are God of the whole world, and we are made precious in your sight. The people in America need another great awakening now! We ask for your forgiveness, more time to sow more seeds. May the spirit of revival fall on hardened hearts and encourage those faithful. You are in charge of the universe. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, our victory has been assured. We ask you to intercede on our behalf to seek you and not earthly recognition.
It is easy to get distracted in the political world rather than the spiritual. It is easy to strive to make this world better rather than getting ready for our next home in Heaven, and this is the tightrope Christian Grassroots Activists walk. Yet, a metaphor of a tightrope may conjure up a connotation of a balancing act. No, the Christian Grassroots activist must be all-in for that freedom that is a relationship with You. Oh God, we pray we can live by laws and not by men, realizing that even though earthly challenges and power struggles corrupt leaders, You lead the faithful.
I pray that America can be a brighter candle for Christianity before Christ comes again. As a grassroots activist, a Christian friend, or a human seeking relationship with God and humankind, I hope to remember Scottish Poet Horatius Bonar’s words from 1861. I have taken the liberty to translate his poem titled “Truth” from an earlier English version to today’s English.
You must be true to yourself,
If you the truth would teach;
Your soul must overflow, if you
Wish another’s soul to reach:
It needs the overflow of the heart
To give the lips full speech.
Think truly, and your thoughts
Shall the world’s famine feed;
Speak truly, and each of your words
Shall be a fruitful seed.
Live truly, and your life shall be
A great and noble creed.
Dear God, this Scottish Doctor’s prayer reminds me of Philippians 1:9-11.
And this I pray, that your love may overflow still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may discover the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, for the glory and praise of God.
There are similarities between the poem and the letter to the Philippians:
- the word “truth” and the phrase “real knowledge and all discernment.”
- “overflow of the heart” and “overflow of love.”
- “fruitful seed” and “fruit of righteousness.”
- “A great and noble creed” and “Sincere and blameless through Jesus.”
Dear God, please awaken us. May we live as you instruct in truth with an overflowing heart and fruitful words, sincere and blameless through your Son. May we be worthy of reflecting your fruits of the spirit to others that we encounter on this journey that they see the light of Your presence in us reflected in our actions and encouragement.