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 Chronicles 7:14(NIV)
I can’t speak for God beyond what we have all been required to do, but I believe that this past six and a half years is a chastisement–not necessarily THE Chastisement–and that He is in effect telling us that we have not only not done what we are required to do as believers, but that we simply haven’t repented.
Prayer is always a good thing. But a lot of times, people pray and pray, and wonder why their prayers haven’t been answered, and the answer is simple, but not simplistic. The Lord tells us that the prayers of a righteous man “availeth much.” The operative word in that phrase is “righteous,” and it means “repentant.” Prayer isn’t much good if we don’t repent while we’re at it.
As long as America is going to continue slaughtering its posterity and teaching its children how to have illicit sex (among other things), we are not going to see much happening on the Spiritual Warfare front. We wouldn’t send our soldiers into battle without arming them, and we shouldn’t expect to go to war against the evil one without at least the Breastplate of Righteousness. We are a nation designed for a praying people. Without that, the country simply cannot “work.”
Repentance is a painful process, but it is absolutely necessary for our Salvation. Not just “confession,” but real, life-changing sorrow for past wickednesses and a strong and determined desire not to return to those ways of life and behavior. But if we want our prayers to be effective and move the battle forward, we must be armed with the right weapons. The Breastplate of Righteousness “extinguishes the firey darts” (temptation and accusation, for example) of the evil one. Let’s get suited up, get on our knees in deep repentance, and get into the battle. There is a war ahead, and we need to be prepared for it in all ways.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the LORD’S people. (NIV)
1 Sam 17:47 (NKJ) [David, speaking to Goliath] “Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’S, and He will give you into our hands.”
Deut 20:3-4 (NIV) …”Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be faint-hearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
Ps 18:32-35 (NIV) It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.
Zec 4:6 (NIV) ”‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
If there is one thing I know, it’s this: God knows how this is going to turn out. Willingly or unwillingly, Americans will be repenting or they will continue to lose freedoms until they are no longer even American, no longer free.
What must our children think of the mess we are leaving them?