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A Call to Prayer

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In May of 1940, during World War II, 335,00 British and French soldiers became trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk by the German army.  The exposed troops made easy prey for the German air force to pick off.  With no easy solution to rescue the army, it looked as if the short war would result in German victory and world domination.

In desperation, George VI declared May 26th a National Day of Prayer.  The King took to the air waves and asked his people to return to God in a spirit of repentance and plead for Divine intervention. The picture above shows lines of people waiting to enter Westminster Abbey in London.  Millions of British citizens filled churches, humbling themselves before God.

Immediately after, two things occurred.  First, the Luftwaffe (German air force), which had been killing thousands of the stranded soldiers, was forced to retreat from Dunkirk due to a violent storm which arose suddenly over the region.

Secondly, the English Channel suddenly became calm in a way not seen for over 25 years.  The quiet waters allowed hundreds of tiny vessels, previously unable to navigate the rough channel, to rescue over 330,00 soldiers.  If not for this level of calmness in the Channel, only 20-30,000 troops could be rescued by available battleships and aircraft carriers.

From that time on, people referred to these events as “the miracle of Dunkirk.”  King George declared Sunday, June 9 as a Day of National Thanksgiving.  Although it took several years, the allied forces prevailed and Hitler’s design for worldwide domination ended.  If not for united, fervent prayer, our world today would be a much different place.

I believe that currently our nation is surrounded by danger just like the soldiers at Dunkirk.  For our entire history Satan has employed his dark forces of the air to try and destroy us from within and without.  He rails against our unique constitutional republic, blessed with vast natural resources and generosity of spirit.  Our impact for goodness in this world is immeasurable.   Sacrificial acts of American courage and mercy towards nations and peoples in crisis change the course of world events.  Consider, for example, the millions of souls redeemed from hell’s grasp due to thousands of fearless American missionaries.

As Satan’s time draws to a close, any individual or entity opposed to his kingdom should expect war.  Currently, our nation’s ability to stand for righteousness and truth is diminished compared to even 50 years ago.  We in the church, in our zeal to relate to our culture are not as effective in shaping our culture as we once were.  If we are upset with the current social conditions the blame rests with us.  Lost people sin.  Unchecked, they sin more.

The meat of our culture is rotting because it is not adequately preserved with the salt of the body of Christ.  God expects every single believer to profoundly affect their personal “Jerusalem, Judea and the ends of the world.”  To the degree any child of God is not fulfilling their God-given purpose, that is how much influence the prince of this world retains.

Many believers currently direct anger towards individuals prominent in our current election cycle and one another.  That kind of anger misses the true target!   Stop it!  Seriously, stop it!   Can you not hear the cackling laughter of hell when you attack a fellow believer?  s

If ever this country needed a true revival in the body of Christ, that time is now.  Revival is for the church, not the culture.   As my pastor, Sam Rijfkogel, said recently, “You can only revive something that has been alive at one time.”  Sinners are dead in their sin.  It’s the Christ followers who have allowed themselves to become so entangled by sin and the world that we are in need of resuscitation, revival. When the church is revived, the country will experience an awakening, as it did in the past.  Until we are repentant for our sins and desperate for the One who is the air we breathe, we will not see the profound change we long for in our country and the world. 

The most famous and effective revivalist of his time, Charles Finney, in his sermon on praying for revival states these things:

  • Prayers must be specific. Random thoughts prayed aloud are ineffective.  Fix the mind on one thought, preferably based on Scripture.
  • Intercession must line up with God’s will. He reveals His will through His Word, His provision and His Spirit.
  • Prayer can only be offered by faith, given by the Holy Spirit.
  • Prayers must flow out of a submissive spirit, just as our Lord demonstrated in the garden.
  • Praying must come from pure motives.
  • Prayer must be persistent and prevailing.

If you are a pastor or leader who has the ability to call your people to prayer, do it.   Everyone else, gather with friends, family, prayer warriors.  Will our children look back and know that our prayers changed the course of history?

The man who is right is a majority.  We, who have God and conscience on our side, have a majority against the universe. “Frederick Douglass, abolitionist

 

 

 

 

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