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|Join Me In Prayer||01/08/2010|
I'm appealing to every reader to join Betty and me in prayerful concern for the church and our nation. I agree with Ronald Reagan and other national leaders who referred to the United States as "a city set on a hill." They emphasize that this nation has been and should continue to be an inspirational example to people around the world.
This reference to our nation is both my hope and belief, but what I'm about to say concerning the church is an absolute. The church is to be a city set on a hill. Believers are to be a holy habitation; a temple built with uncut stones, joined together by the power of God to reveal His presence, love, nature, will and redemption through Christ for all mankind. The church is to be such a mighty force of positive influence that the gates of hell, death, darkness, deception, division and dissension cannot prevail against its positive effects.
So let me encourage you to join us in praying for the church and the nation in focused prayer. Concentrated prayer is like channeling the power of a mighty river through a turbine and it can light up a city. Here are some points of concern to focus on:
1. We have a leadership crisis in the church that has not only affected the family of believers, but individual family units by the absence of fathers. Too many church leaders have become keepers of the stable rather than shepherds of the flock. They have, as Jeremiah said, "scattered the flock" and allowed God's sacred ground to become trampled by merely entertaining the listeners, tickling their ears and stirring unnecessary, fruitless theological discussions leading to the ruin of the hearers. Too often, ministers have either fed the spirit of sectarianism or refused to expose it, and not led us toward the essentials–oneness with God, harmony with His heart, divine connections and meaningful relationship with one another. On too many occasions, we have allowed people to follow us, rather than Him. Believers have been taught to carry a Bible rather than inspired them to get into The Word so His Word will carry them.
2. Pray that the church family will first connect with the heart of God and submit to His headship. He is our covering and to allow any covering, be it race, denominationalism or partisanship of any kind of "-ism" to cover us can be a form of idolatry that will hinder our ability to identify with him.
3. Agree with the prayer of Jesus that we be one in the correct sense. Jesus prayed we would be one with the Father, and then with one another and perfected through love in spiritual unity. Many people say "if any two agree" without recognizing that one of the two in agreement must be God–any two people can put their minds together and accomplish a lot, but God stipulates that we must first come into agreement with him and then with others. I have watched materialistic prosperity being taught with a misunderstanding of "if you will, I will." Let me make it clear, God does not make deals. You are not to say, "God, if you will, I will" or "God, if you do, I do." You've got it in reverse order. God says, "If you will, I will." We must first act in harmony with His heart and in obedience to His will. We must commit to him first. We are not playing some spiritual game of bingo or a faith lottery. We are committing ourselves to him with our whole heart, acting on His word as a faithful farmer and reaping the harvest of His blessings according to His will and not just merely according to the whims of fleshly desires or appetites that too often control professing Christians.
4. Pray we will stop discussing the Holy Spirit and begin living in a demonstration of His power and the fruit of a spirit-filled life. Pray that every person will recognize each of us is to be God's watered garden, and out of our innermost being should flow rivers of living water. Let me simply testify that there is a river flowing out of my life at this moment and it is going to seek the areas of least resistance and settle in the most receptive, fertile soil. If that ground is sown with good seed, it will produce fruit that looks like Jesus. Please as you pray for the church and its leadership, remember me and Betty and all of us here at LIFE Outreach and the missionaries around the world, that we will be a fruitful garden that effectively releases the rivers of His life all over the world. Pray that we will know how to connect effectively with the right channels to release His love, reveal His will, and inspire believers to become light giving him, and him alone, the glory, honor and praise He deserves.
5. Pray for Christians to realize that the fruit of a Christian is a Christian life, and the fruit of a Christian life is more true believers who themselves begin to bear fruit. We are not called to make like kind or more of the same. We are called to win people to Christ and to see them grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.
6. Pray Christians will become inspired, informed and actively involved in the selection of those who will lead us in policies and decisions that not only affect us, but also the generations that follow.
Please do not scold me or tell me that I'm not supposed to effect the direction of our country. Do not excuse what I'm saying by suggesting that it is "political" and that preachers ought to stay out of politics. If we live the truth, hold to the truth, believe there is truth and that there are principles upon which to build our lives, we had better be concerned about the policy makers who are leading us into bondage and forcing us to make "brick without straw."1 It is not only a waste of time, but the diminishment and destruction of the productivity of people who understand the importance of work, responsibility, integrity and meaningful productivity and compassionate, charitable acts.
1. Stop presenting government as God–the all-provident source and solution for every human dilemma. Tear down the idol of the ever-increasing size and control of the federal government. God, deliver us from this evil. Pray fervently for this because the recent and present trends will have a tsunami effect.
2. Pray for our citizens to return to principles and stop following their own preferences and politicians continually promising to meet every need at the expense of hard-working Americans. We must abandon the foolish allegiance to partisanship. Please hear this: a new party is not the solution. Getting either party straightened out is not the answer. The answer is for all parties to be made new by understanding the importance of foundational principles that our forefathers put in place and history has proven. Government must be reigned in and put back in its right place if we are to continue to be "one nation under God." Pray for people to understand that tax increases ultimately hurt the poorest and weakest among us more than anyone else. When you weaken the strong, you lessen opportunity. Pray that our leaders and people will stop hindering the creators of wealth because some foolish, self-centered greed-mongers have set such a terrible example. Success, growth and nice possessions are not the nation's problems. Selfishness, greed, and indifference toward our fellow man are the problems. So are political powerbrokers, manipulators and deal-makers at the expense of others.
3. Pray that people will understand the difference in true charity and socialism. Charity motivated by compassion and love creates a connection with those in need, leading to the acceptance of responsibility and the improvement of one's well being. People have been taught to wait for someone else to take care of them. There is no connection between those who share and those who receive.
As one example, Betty and I have chosen to help a family with four children in great need. We have underwritten their living quarters and helped insure that they have everything they need for the basics of life. But because of our individual concern, we have sought diligently to help them assume responsibility, become accountable and find work. There is a personal connection of love and genuine interest. True charity meets needs and helps solve problems. Socialism uses need to promote and enact policies that deplete potential and enslave productivity.
Our founders understood that social programs can only function effectively with a legitimate concern on the part of the citizenry. Socialism confiscates from others and hands it out at the discretion of those in power, oftentimes for the purpose of maintaining their position of power. Pray that we will return to an understanding of the difference between charity and socialism.
4. Pray we will begin enforcing our laws, rather than continually adding new ones, and that we will stop placing unnecessary regulations on individual freedom. Congress has some legitimate regulators in place, but refuses to listen to them. For example, we had numerous warnings concerning the Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac crisis long before the collapse, but allowed political agendas to overrule common sense. Regulators warned about Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme way before that blew up, but political conniving allowed it to continue far too long.
5. Pray for change that leads to the restoration of the foundational principles upon which the greatest freedom, prosperity and strength were built. Pray that we will stop interpreting "all men are created equal" to mean "all men are created exactly the same" so that the government will stop trying to create sameness in all, rather than opportunity for all.
6. Pray that our leaders will understand that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should not be interpreted as giving people the right to do whatever is right in their own eyes, but whatever is best. And when protecting the right of life, that should include the most helpless and most innocent–the unborn.
I close this call to prayer by asking you to pray specifically for me that, as Paul said, I will continually warn people day and night with tears, and never hold back what is profitable unto you, calling for repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus, whatever the cost.2 I would like to be understood by our friends and supporters as someone who has a broken heart for both the church and the state of this nation. I have a burden for a world in darkness and people who suffer, so I want to do everything I can to extend our hands of love while we express the very heart of our God and Father.
I cherish your friendship and your prayers. Thanks for giving me this opportunity to share. Please pass this on to those you think might join us in behalf of the church and the country.
1 Exodus 5:16
Author: James Robison
Editor: Randy Robison
Word Count: 1871
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and His wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Soul of a Nation, The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.
Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net . Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.