On Saturday, September 29th, about 40,000 people thronged to Wembley Stadium in London. These were not football fans arriving for a match, but Christians responding to the call for a day of prayer for the nation.
There have been various occasions in the history of the UK when a specific call to prayer has been given. For instance, in May 1940, when the British army was facing potential annihilation by Hitler’s army, a call went out from King George VI for the people of Britain to pray. People met in churches throughout the land, and God answered their prayers in an extraordinary way. Hitler inexplicably decided not to continue his army’s advance and an amazing rescue took place, with flotillas of small boats crossing the Channel to retrieve British soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk.
Today our nation is also in crisis, although not from a human army. We are facing a rapid rise of secularism, depravity and godlessness. Examples of this are the Government’s proposal to redefine marriage to include homosexual and lesbian couples, pressure to change the law to allow ‘assisted dying’, abortion causing the deaths of over seven million babies since the Abortion Act in 1967, as well as an increasing level of anti-Christian sentiment. There needs to be a real turning back to God and His ways in the nation, and a crying out to Him for mercy.
In Genesis 18 the sin in Sodom was so great that God had decided to destroy the city and people living there. However, He confided in Abraham what He was about to do, and Abraham then pleaded with God for mercy, asking Him to spare the city if fifty righteous people could be found there. We then read a touching dialogue in which Abraham negotiates with God, who promises not to destroy the city for the sake of forty-five, forty, thirty, twenty and finally just ten. Because of Abraham’s intercession, God was willing to stay His hand of judgement on Sodom if there were just ten righteous people there.
What about our nations today? In today’s verse the Lord reminds us that if His people would humble themselves and pray, seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, then He would hear their prayers, forgive their sin and heal their land. We cannot leave this for others to do; it’s the responsibility of all God’s people. What happened on September 29th was a significant event, but we need to continue to pray and seek God’s face, crying out to Him for mercy. Will you be a part of this?
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for my passivity with regard to praying for the nation. I know it’s what You’re calling Your people to do, and I want to be a part of this. Please stir up Your people to pray, and please have mercy on our nation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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