Nation needs prayer now more than ever

By Joan Clayton

Prayer is needed now more than ever. We have many evils attacking within and without. America is at a crossroads. National Day of Prayer is Thursday.

The theme this year is “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.” May we come together as a nation with heartfelt prayers for our country. A culture in decline with a sea of immorality, dishonesty, corruption and threats from terrorists slowly but surely robs democracy and freedom. Our present culture depicts wrongdoing as an acceptable behavior with little or no consequences. Many nations have crumbled because of similar decay. The importance of prayer cannot be emphasized enough. The destinies of our children and grandchildren are dependent upon our prayers.

Our gracious God has been ignored, blasphemed, forgotten and neglected. Once again 2 Chronicles 7:14 echoes in my ears: “If my people who are called by my name, will 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.”

Many of us go to prayer as a last resort. We have it backwards. Prayer should be the first resort. “When a believing person prays, great things happen” (James 5:16). Believing prayer makes a difference. Prayer has changed history, averted disasters and has enabled ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

Despite the many problems and challenges, those who pray have a steadfast hope and trust in God’s faithfulness. God responds when approached in true repentance and humility, seeking forgiveness for our nation and ourselves. Apathy erodes vigilance, leaving an open door for the enemy.

Please pray for our leaders. Pray for respect for the Bible and the truth of God’s Word (Ephesians 3:10). We are admonished to pray in 1 Timothy 2:2: “Pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God.”

Prayer relieves tension and focuses attention on God. Prayer is communication with God. Sincerity and openness are valuable to him. A dedicated, lifelong, uncompromising stand in a praying believer’s life keeps up the hedge of protection surrounding a nation.

Believers in the Bible are referred to as “soldiers.” We are “prayer warriors” in a battle for the heart and soul of America. We are warring against “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

An anonymous author has said “The wings of prayer carry high and far.” Let’s make our prayers high and far, too.

I strongly believe God is the only solution to our country’s ills. Let us humbly fall to our knees and seek God’s forgiveness.

You can light this nation. We serve a mighty God. He hears the cry of his people. Let your light shine with flames of faith. May we have humble hearts. If we have no prayers to offer, God cannot answer and how can God withhold judgment if we do not intercede for our country?

This is a call to prayer … a consecrated prayer that can change our future. Please pray for America!

Joan Clayton is a retired teacher, writer and religion columnist living in Portales.