Daily Devotions

Praying for Revival in America – Day 10

“The foreigners living among you will become stronger and stronger, while you become weaker and weaker. They will lend money to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, and you will be the tail!” (Deuteronomy 28:43-44 NLT)

In Deuteronomy Chapter 28, God instructs half of His people to announce from Mount Gerizim the blessings that He will bestow upon their nation if they will be faithful to Him. He then instructs the other half of His people to announce from Mount Ebal the curses that will befall their nation if they ever forsake Him.

According to Deuteronomy 28:12-13, the nation will be blessed by God financially as long as the people believe and obey God’s Word. God promises a faithful nation that it “will lend to many nations, but borrow from none.” On the other hand, the nation will be cursed by God with financial disaster if the people ever cease to believe and obey God’s Word. God promises the nation that forsakes Him that it will end up borrowing from foreigners and incapable of lending to anyone (Deuteronomy 28:43-44).

I don’t know about you, but Deuteronomy 28:12-13 sounds to me like an accurate description of America yesterday, back when we were a God-fearing nation that revered God’s Word. In those days, we were blessed by God as the world’s greatest lender nation. Today, however, we resemble the nation described in Deuteronomy 28:43-44, a nation that has forsaken God and is no longer under His blessing, but under His curse. Consequently, our country is no longer the world’s greatest lender nation, but the world’s greatest debtor nation.

Although many explanations are given for America’s current economic downturn, our forsaking of God is normally not one of them. Yet, here, just as in all our other national problems, the real trouble is spiritual. Having gone from being a God-fearing nation to a God-forsaking one, we’ve moved ourselves out from under God’s blessings and put ourselves under His curse.

Pray that America will repent of its forsaking of God and return to its faithfulness to God so that God will lift his curse and restore His blessings.

Praying for Revival in America – Day 9

“But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.” (Psalm 115:18)

The Psalmist declared, “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” (Psalm 103:1). Herein lies a twist on our traditional thinking in America. Rather than thinking and praying about God blessing us, do we ever think and pray about us blessing God?

Although He promised to bless Abraham, God’s greater promise to Israel’s patriarch was that he would make him a blessing to the whole world (Genesis 12:1-3). Although America, like no other nation before it, has been blessed by God, our greatest blessing is found in the fact that God has made us a blessing to the rest of the world. For instance, no nation in history has sent out more Christian missionaries than ours.

Unfortunately, things have drastically changed in today’s America. Take for example the boasting of our president at a recent press conference in Turkey that America is no longer a Christian nation. In addition, a member of his political party recently celebrated the fact on national television that we are no longer a nation of traditional values. Again, in both cases, there was no shame or lamentation, but proud jubilation. What does this say about the sad spiritual straits of today’s America.

Don’t pray that God bless America, but that America bless God!

Praying for Revival in America – Day 8

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12)

The well-known and much beloved song God Bless America was written by Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised by him in 1938. In 1938, it was introduced to America on an Armistice Day broadcast by singer Kate Smith, afterward becoming Mrs. Smith’s signature song. The song was actually written by Berlin to be sung as a prayer.

“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,

Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,

Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,

As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God Bless America,

Land that I love.

Stand beside her, and guide her

Through the night with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies,

To the oceans, white with foam

God bless America, My home sweet home.”

That God has blessed America more than any country in the history of the world is indisputable. However, the real need today is not to pray so much for God’s blessings, but for our country to get back to the place where God can bless it. As the Bible says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…” (Psalm 33:12).

Pray that America returns to God so that God can bless us again as He has blessed us before.

Praying for Revival in America – Day 7

“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” (Revelation 3:7-8)

Rick Warren closed his Inaugural Prayer at Barack Obama’s Inauguration with these words: “I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus, who taught us to pray: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’”

At first glance, it appeared that Pastor Warren had bucked the political correctness of our day and bravely ended his much anticipated prayer in the name of Jesus. Like first century Jerusalem, the one thing intolerable in twenty-first century America is a Christian who dares to speak the name of “Jesus” in public (Acts 4:5-31; 5:28, 40-42; 9:13-16, 21; 15:26; 21:13; 26:9-11). Consequently, everyone was wondering whether Warren would dare to do the intolerable by biblically and unabashedly praying in “Jesus name” (John 14:13-14; 16:23-24).

At first glance it appeared that Warren had went where few contemporary Christians are willing to go; namely, outside the camp to Christ where the disgrace of our Savior is borne and our personal reputation sacrificed (Hebrews 13:11-14). Upon closer scrutiny, however, it turned out that Warren never really left the camp at all, but remained safely within the comfortable confines of compromise.

One of the names for Jesus in which Warren prayed his Inaugural Prayer is “Isa.” Although the Arabic for Jesus is “Yesu,” Mohammed refers to Jesus as “Isa” throughout the Koran. When forced to flee Mecca for Medina because of the preaching of his new religion, Mohammed suddenly found himself in a city that was founded and predominantly populated by Jews. The Jews of Medina viewed Jesus Christ as a phony Messiah and ridiculed Him by calling Him “Esau,” after the rejected brother of Jacob who swapped his birthright for beans and lost his father’s blessing. Mohammed picked up this derogatory name for Jesus, translated it into Arabic as “Isa,” and used it throughout the Koran when referring to Christ.

According to the Koran, “Isa” is like Adam, a mere man created by Allah from the dust. Furthermore, he is nothing more than a servant of Allah, whom Allah can destroy anytime he takes a notion to. Therefore, anyone professing “Isa” to be God or the Son of God is under the curse of Allah and will be “forbidden entrance into paradise and cast into the fire of hell.”

It was the Apostle Paul who warned us about false prophets who preach “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4). Muslims preach “another Jesus,” one who the Koran says only appeared to die on the cross for the sins of the world. In the Middle Ages, Martin of Tours taught believers to distinguish the real Jesus from all others by asking, “Where are the nail-prints?” If there are no nail-prints, it is not the real Jesus, but a counterfeit Christ.

One cannot help but wonder why Rick Warren prayed His Inaugural Prayer in the name of the nail-scarred Jesus who changed his life, as well as in the name of Islam’s counterfeit Christ, who has no nail-prints. Granted, Rick may have merely intended to include the “Arabic” name for Jesus in the closing of his prayer so as not to offend Muslim Americans. Yet, I’m afraid his attempt at praying a non-offensive prayer ended up being most offensive to the One to whom he prayed.

Try as we may, loyalty to our Lord leaves us no way around His solemn warning—“And you shall be hated of all men [and of all nations] for my name’s sake” (Matthew 10:22; 24:9; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:17). The true church of Jesus Christ has no other alternative but to unapologetically profess and to unabashedly proclaim the name of Jesus. No matter the cost or consequence to ourselves, we must never deny the name of the only one who can set before us an open door to the treasure house of God (Revelation 3:7-8).

Pray that the church will not succumb to political correctness by refusing to boldly and publicly proclaim the name of Jesus—He who alone can save America!

Praying for Revival in America – Day 6

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

In a book entitled Six Months in the White House, which was written by Francis B. Carpenter shortly after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Carpenter writes of an encounter during the Civil War between President Lincoln and a northern clergyman. Carpenter’s account reads as follows:

“No nobler reply ever fell from the lips of a ruler, than that uttered by President Lincoln in response to the clergyman who ventured to say, in his presence, that he hoped ‘the Lord was on our side.’

“‘I am not at all concerned about that,’ replied Mr. Lincoln, ‘for I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.'”

May it be our constant anxiety and prayer that our nation should be on the Lord’s side, not that the Lord should be on our side.

Praying for Revival in America – Day 5

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)

On January 23, 1996, Rev. Joe Wright, pastor of Central Christian Church in Wichita, prayed the following opening prayer for the Kansas State Senate in Topeka.

“Heavenly Father,

We come before You today to ask Your Forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ”Woe to those who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost our Spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values. We confess that; we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism; We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism; We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle; We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery; We have neglected the needy and called it self preservation; We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare; We have killed our unborn and called it choice; We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable; We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem; We have abused power and called it political savvy; We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition; We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression; We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of this state and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state of Kansas. Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your Will.

I ask this in the name of your Son, The Living Savior, Jesus Christ”

In response to Rev. Wright’s prayer, one member of the Senate walked out and others voiced strong criticism. However, when Paul Harvey aired the prayer on his radio show he received the greatest response to any story ever reported on his program.

Pray that America will stop calling evil good and good evil. Pray that we will repent of our evil and return to God.

Praying for Revival in America – Day 4

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)

When the Constitutional Convention appeared hopelessly deadlocked and the framing of an American Constitution all but impossible, Benjamin Franklin rose to make the following suggestion:

“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‛except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service.”

If the framers realized the need of prayer in the drafting of our Constitution, surely we should realize the need of prayer in the preserving of it! If they acknowledged the need of an eye toward God to protect us from the disunity of “little partial local interests,” how can we shut our eyes to God and hope to remain a united people?

Pray that our nation would return to the original intent of the framers of our Constitution, as well as to their acknowledged need of “the assistance of Heaven.”

Praying for Revival in America – Day 3

“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

Is it ever unchristian to vote? Many will unhesitatingly answer this question with a resounding “No!” Voting, we are told, is a Christian obligation never to be shirked. Yet, what is a Christian to do when neither candidates nor ballot initiatives offer righteous alternatives on important issues? Customarily, we are told to hold our nose, do our duty and vote for the least of evils.

When did the least of evils become an acceptable choice for the people of God? Is a  choice between the least of evils ever a good enough choice for Christians, those who have been called by God to eschew evil altogether? Regardless of its lesser degrees and fainter shades, evil is always an unacceptable choice for the people of God.

As Christians, I don’t believe that we should make any choices at the polls until we’re afforded with choices that we can make with clear consciences. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather stand before God and answer for my failure to vote than to stand before God and answer for violating my conscience by casting a vote for the lesser of two evils.

Furthermore, if this country’s Christians refuse to take an uncompromising stand for the truth, who will? And what happens to our nation when the salt of the earth and the light of the world—the church, which is the conscience of our country—can be purchased by politicians and political parties for nothing more than lesser evils? If Christians can be bought at such bargain prices then our country is morally bankrupt and spiritually insolvent.

Pray that the church will refuse to compromise its stand for the truth, regardless of whether it is in the pulpit, prayer closet or polling place.

Praying for Revival in America – Day 2

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” (Hosea 4:6)

A few years ago, Mark Osterloh, a former Arizona gubernatorial candidate, came up with a novel idea. He proposed that $1 million dollars be rewarded in every general election to a lucky voter chosen by lottery. According to Osterloh, since the odds of winning the election lottery would be far greater than winning the popular Powerball jackpot (1-in-146 million), non-voting, lottery-playing Arizonians would be motivated to start showing up at the polls for a chance to win a million bucks. Gratefully, Osterloh’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Vote!” ballot initiative was soundly defeated by Arizona voters.

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t believe that greater voter turnout is good for America. As far as I’m concerned, there are already too many uninformed people voting. I agree with Winston Churchill, who once said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” The last thing this country needs is more uninformed and uninterested voters determining its future by carelessly casting their ballots in hopes of winning an election lottery jackpot.

Did you know that to vote in colonial America one had to pass a poll test and have a “stake in society”; that is, own property or pay taxes? Voting was considered so important that only the informed and invested were considered qualified to cast ballots. Today, however, just about anybody can vote, regardless of whether or not they own property, pay taxes, or know anything about the issues. Thus, higher voter turnout in today’s America certainly doesn’t assure a better outcome; in fact, it may guarantee the opposite.

If Mr. Osterlah’s idea had passed, he predicted that it would have quickly spread to other states. Just think, before long Americans could have been casting their ballots in hopes of cashing in on election lottery jackpots, not in hopes of bettering our country or its prospects for the future. I don’t know about you, but I believe reducing our democracy to a scratch-and-win game would have proven to be just one more nail in our country’s coffin.

John F. Kennedy once said, “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” How impaired will our security be by your vote today?

Since our country’s hope is found in our prayer closets, not our polling places, pray that America will turn from its faith in the electorate back to faith in God.

Praying for Revival in America – Day 1

“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)

Make no mistake about it; revival is America’s only hope of survival. If America is to change, its people must change. If the American people are to change, revival must come. If revival is to come, it must begin in the church. And if revival is to begin in the church, it must start in your heart! Thus, the best thing you can do for your county is to get your heart right with God!

Contrary to popular opinion, America’s answer is not found in the Oval Office, beneath the Capital Dome, before the bar of the Supreme Court or in the polling place and ballot box. Instead, it is found in the altars of our churches. Until they are filled with repentant and broken hearts, as well as warm and free flowing tears, our country’s sole and certain prospect is divine retribution.

If revival doesn’t come to America, it won’t be the fault of the American people, but of the people of God in America. The blame won’t be laid at the steps of the White House, the Capital or the Supreme Court, but at the steps of the church. For only we can prevent revival fires!

Pray for revival in America!