Friends

We live in unusual times.  In America, our economy is currently doing great, but nothing else is.  America is reeling again.  Families have been ripped apart and individual lives have been torn apart.  One day we are reeling from devastating hurricanes, the next day we are torn apart by racial divisions, the next day we are ripped apart by another shooting.  The pain is palpable, the shock tangible.  Can America still be healed?

It’s a time of economic prosperity but moral poverty.  America needs a national healing: in our government, in our schools, in our businesses, in our neighborhoods, in our families, in our homes, in our bodies, and in our hearts and minds.  But how do we do it?  How do we pray for healing and restoration?  

God is calling out to us, "America, you need Me!"  There is no political solution.  There is no social band-aid that can be applied.  There is no law that can be passed that will heal our sickly land.

Instead, we need to get on our faces before the Lord acknowledging our own sins and shortcomings, not pointing the finger at others but rather at ourselves.  And whatever our views on climate control and gun control and immigration reform and President Trump and social justice may be, we need to implore the only one who can heal our land.  What else is needed to get our attention? 

Like it or not, our nation was founded on biblical principles, with God at the center of our nation, and America can only be great if America is good.  Without Him, our condition is terminal.  With Him, there is hope—but we must act now.

In 1952 President Harry Truman signed a bill into law, making the National Day of Prayer for America an annual event on the first Thursday of May, encouraging millions across our nation to unite together to pray.  We have come a long way since that day.

And now, more than ever, maybe America needs more than a National Day of Prayer, however great and needed that is.  Maybe America needs days of prayer, hearts that are continually shaped and changed by prayer, lives that are loving and bold because of prayer, a nation that comes back to our God with a spirit of prayer, that is continually asking for His grace and healing.

Sometimes it's hard to know where to begin or how to pray.  We just know we have a deep ache in our hearts that cries out for God's mercy, and a longing to see Him heal our land.  And maybe other times we wonder how effective our prayers even are.  

Yet God is faithful, no matter how we feel, and over all that swirls around us in our nation today.

That same power that broke prison chains, raised Lazarus from the dead, and parted the Red Sea, the same power that healed the blind man, and delivered the delirious from demons, that same power is at work still today.  He is the same. Yesterday, today, and forever.

May we stand together and pray for God to heal our land and strengthen His people. May we pray for all those in authority.  May we pray for God’s miraculous intervening, for blind eyes to be opened, for many to see the power of our Lord as never before.

And for times when it’s difficult to know even what to pray, we can trust these words as a place to begin, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”   Romans 8:26 NLT

We are never left to fend for ourselves, wrestling in worry, consumed with fear, or driven towards hate.  He reminds us He is with us, He will help us, that He has not lost control, but has a plan.  And His purposes will prevail.

He hears our prayers, He knows our needs.  There's great power in uniting together, turning our hearts towards God, and praying on behalf of America, our nation. 

Remembering today this powerful truth upon which this nation was founded.  We are "One Nation Under God."  He is where our real hope is found, not in our leaders, not in our economy, not in the condition of our nation today, or any other day.  "...my hope comes from Him." Psalm 62:5 NRSV

What is our part?  What can one person do?  In, Luke 5 there is a great story of a group of guys who took a friend who was paralyzed and in need of healing to the feet of Jesus.  In this account, we find three characteristics that this guy’s uses to help their friend get to Jesus.

•Compassion:

  This man was healed because his friends cared.  It all starts with us caring about people who are hurting.  Romans 15:2 NLT says, “We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord”.  God used these guys because they were sensitive to a friend’s need.  Believe it or not He will use us when we are not preoccupied with our own needs and start caring more about others than we do ourselves.

•Faith:

The men believed God would heal their friend.  Take a look at Luke 5:20 NIV “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’”  It was not the paralytic’s faith that made him well; it was the faith of his friends.  How many people do you know who are so paralyzed they cannot believe in God?  That’s when we have to believe for them.

•Intervention:

These friends did not just pray for their friend; they took action as well.  It’s not enough just to pray for someone who is hurting.  We must act!  Jesus says in Luke 14:23 NLT “Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.”  There is a slew of examples in the Bible of people taking others to Jesus.

Make Every Day Count!

Barry

Come Sunday and be a part of Healing for a hurting World!