The Hope of the Nation That Prays
Destiny Image Publishers, 2001 - 112
Why does a nation go to prayer? What can be the motivation behind such a noble endeavor?
Does a nation go to prayer simply to cry out for a respite from the ills that beset her? Is it enough for her to go to prayer only for deliverance from a foreign threat? Do we invoke the name of the Lord only when in peril, hastily going to Him in whatever method appears to bring the most immediate response? If this is our perception of His love and if we believe that this is the purpose for His existence, we are sadly missing the point altogether.
Is our purpose for being here so self indulging? Is our vision so temporal? Is our future so mundane? I think not.
No, we go to the Lord in prayer as a nation not seeking a temporary audience with the Almighty simply to plead our case for personal survival. We go to Him with the knowledge -- no, with the conviction -- that we are here for a God-ordained purpose. We go to Him because we know that He raised this nation for the well-being of the entire community of nations. We are people of destiny. We have a calling as a nation that rings deep in the hearts of most people.
We are not here simply to procreate, as though our destiny is merely the survival of our species from one generation to the next. We are not wandering aimlessly throughout time, arbitrarily finding ourselves here in this country instead of somewhere else. We are aware. We laugh when we live and we mourn when we die. Each holds in his bosom, no matter how secretly, the understanding, the confession, the hope that he is here for a purpose greater than mere random natural selection.
Unfortunately, it often takes tragedy to re-ignite the outward expression of the inner knowledge ofwho we really are beyond our humanity, beyond our flesh and blood.
Lesser species have no sense of destiny beyond their need to survive. They are unaware of anything more. In fact, that sense of destiny is the very thing that separates humanity from the rest of God's creation. For us, staying alive is much more than survival; it is much more than instinctively doing what comes naturally. Humanity exists as part of a larger plan, carrying the absolute understanding that there exists above us a power transcending time and space. This power dwells in and passes through a dimension that is truly grasped only by faith and experienced by the humility of prayer and personal confession. More than a power, He is a living, personal, vibrant God who personally loves humanity and covets relationship with them.
So running to Him in panic only when He is needed will not do over the long term. Of course, He will always forgive us and take care of us when we ask Him. The Bible is full of examples of the Lord coming to the aid of His people when they were in great adversity. But there is more to this God than merely 911 calls. He made us because He loves us, because He wants our friendship, because He invested Himself in us for His purposes and plan for humankind. Our destiny is divine in calling and complete in its fulfillment. The need to fulfill one's reason to breathe is the most driving passion in the universe.
Over the long term, being in fellowship with this God on a daily basis makes a whole lot more sense than running to Him, assuming you can find Him, when an emergency arises. This kind of "foul weather friendship" is not what we humans particularly enjoy from one another. Why do wethink it is any different with God? He is devoted to a relationship with us based on mutual love and desire.
It is amazing how we think we can go on from one generation to the next, with less and less consideration for the One who made us for His pleasure. We cannot do this thing alone. We cannot survive as a nation (without considering our destiny) by calling to Him as a last resort to all our problems. He is much more exciting as One who unfolds His plan in us daily and strengthens us for the task. He is much more appealing as the One who loves and heals and blesses than as the One who must respond only in a crisis, only to have us forget Him again until the next problem arises.
The self-seeking, self-indulgence of a nation concerned only with its immediate needs denies the greater purpose for our existence. Do we want to merely survive, or do we want to fulfill our reason for being born, in all its wonder and adventure?
Let's make a decision together. Let's make the decision to pray for our nation in the times of crisis, as we all want to do. But let us also make the decision to walk circumspectly, serving the God we expect to help us as the One with far more than help for us. He carries in His heart destiny itself -- for you, for your children, and for the nation.
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