Pray with intense focus: Pray, knowing that God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. But what should we be seeking in prayer today? There are 3 things that have been burning in my heart to ask for. Here they are in the order in which I believe we need to pray for them.
1. The local church. Why would I mention this first? This current hysteria threatens to hit the local church hard. That is not good on more levels than you may realize. Satan wants to weaken churches in America for several important reasons.
Pray against the temptation to develop the habit of staying home from church after this is over.
Pray that believers will continue to financially support their church now, even if they are compelled to stay home.
Pray that state governments will not use this as an excuse to persecute the church. Few things are more dangerous right now than the state drifting from justifiable health guidelines into police brutality. Only a fool doesn’t know about the growing outright hostility toward Christians in the Blue states. Their mouths are watering at the prospect of shutting down churches. They are looking for any excuse, and we must rebuke all demonic power and ask God to cause the fire of revival to fall on churches everywhere. The disruption of churches in America is from Satan. Pure and simple.
Worshiping together is a key to Christianity. Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Remember: We are the only movement in history where the founder attends every meeting.
If there is a chance for you to worship with others and you opt instead for worshiping alone or as the hippies among us love to say, “I will commune with nature.” You may find some blessing, but you will not receive the full measure that the power of agreement provides.
Hebrews 10: 25 urges us: “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day (of the Lord) approaching.” House meetings are being touted as a substitute for corporate worship. And this not a problem if the motives are pure. Often, however, these meetings are led by leaders who are engaging in self-promotion. They are doing it because they did not get the recognition they felt they deserved in a church setting. This is a lot like socialism: it sounds good, but it has never worked because the true motives are wrong.
I believe that something good can come out of this. Maybe we will remember the joy and satisfaction of simple church…before we got all slick and professional.
We must also pray fervently for the persecuted church around the world.
2. That America will repent. Americans who pray today had better repent. Every mouth that prays today must begin by asking for forgiveness. Any kind of asking that comes before repentance will offend God’s holiness. We are a nation of great wickedness. We have thumbed our nose at God. We have murdered the innocents and destroyed marriage. We celebrate things that God abhors.
Daniel was not guilty of the sins of Israel and yet he repented for them. In Daniel 9:4-5, he wrote, “And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, Who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.”
The one thing we do not want to see is this: 2 Chronicles 28:22, “Now in the time of his distress King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord.” If America smugly assumes she can ask and stay unfaithful to the Lord—or worse, become even more unfaithful—that would spell certain doom.
3. Pray that God will show mercy and curse this virus. Do not ask with pride, spouting your, “rights and privileges.” Humbly declare, “We are not deserving of a national miracle, but we humbly beg for Your mercy.” In this prayer, we must remember that all the nations of the world far less able to fight this pandemic.
I am a firm believer in miracles of healing and in the power of God to drive back disease. But I have never seen miracles break out when the voices calling upon God were charged with pride and entitlement.
Our Father and our God, have mercy on us this day as we turn from our wicked ways. We do not ask for comfort and ease, we ask for holy desires and the resolve to fight on in order to share the Gospel with the world. We forsake all those things that have become our idols. We condemn perverse and unnatural desires that have aroused Your anger against us. We pray in the name that is above all names—the Name of Jesus!