Youngsters praying at a Miami church
“Ultimately, whatever the area of prayer emphasis, we must always come back to the purposes of God. Jesus taught us to pray, ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven’ (Matthew 6:10). As we pray for something as important as national elections, we must lay down our own desires and take up the desires of God. What we really desire is for the Lord’s purposes to be achieved in and through our nation. All of our requests must be couched in words and thoughts that focus our hearts on the Kingdom of God.
“Pray today for the purposes of God to be accomplished in the U.S. elections: Pray that the U.S. will turn and seek first the Kingdom of God; pray that God will be honored in the midst of this election campaign; pray for opportunities for Christians to share their faith and their values in the midst of this election process; pray that the results of the 2012 elections will please the Lord and release His blessing over this nation.”
Why do so many different groups feel called to pray for America?
A youngster talks with God (Photo by Oscar Mota)
“Five years ago a network of prominent leaders from a broad coalition of ministries formed the Awakening America Alliance,” says Dr. Wilson. “With strong conviction that America was in a devastating spiritual decline, this group of men and women decided that a united, public moment of prayer for awakening was needed across our country.”
“In many ways what happened on September 11, 2001, signaled what would take place in the 21st century. We saw the collapse of things we thought were certain, of things we thought would never fall and we saw an invasion of darkness and fear in our nation that we had never experienced. Some days I wake up and ask myself ‘How in the world did America get in this shape? How did we become this dark in my generation?’ I believe that can change but it can only change if the people of God unite in prayer.”
Prayer is vital. So, is an understanding of “where candidates stand on issues of mercy and justice in our world,” says a group of 3,600 Catholic nuns, the Sisters of Mercy, which has published a downloadable, free, 16-page, non-partisan guide, U.S. Elections 2012, designed to promote prayer and public discourse about the election. Their focus is on “matters relevant to Earth, immigration, nonviolence, racism and women.”
“I am continually taken back by the great presence of the Lord that sweeps in upon us as we join our hands and hearts, cross denominational lines, and cry out to God for mercy and pardon for America,” says spokesperson Judy Seifert, who is affiliated with the Church of God Prayer Leader’s Network and Youth For Christ. “It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of calling America to prayer, at such a time as this.
“While things appear bleak for our nation, we must stop and remember the scriptures that remind us, to see the whole matter, you have to examine things from God’s point of view. When we look behind the public scenes, and look at what God’s people are doing, it’s only then, that we see the vast moving of His hand at work in our behalf. And His hand is moving mightily in opening large venues of prayer throughout our nation.
“When God’s people pray, God moves! Our sin has caused judgments to fall upon us as a nation. But we have hope in the goodness of our Lord. For His great name’s sake, God always extends opportunity to repent and return to Him.”
“‘If’ my people who are called by my name….’ What a resounding, yet conditional message from God to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7,” says the group’s Texas state coordinator, Oni Roberts. “It reminds us, the church, to come humbly before Him, to repent and turn from apathy and compromise. Then He will hear us and heal our land.
“We, the church, have a responsibility to God, to America, to our founding fathers, and the next generation to take these words from God seriously.
“I am committed to pray according to the mandates of the Lord in 2 Chronicles believing that God will honor His Word and ignite a spiritual awakening in America.
“Will you pray?”