“Prayer for the Nation”
by Jeanne Gowen Dennis
“Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel,
For the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.
There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery.
They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land mourns,
And everyone who lives in it languishes
Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky,
And also the fish of the sea disappear.” (Hosea 4:1–3 NASB.)
As I was studying the books of the Minor Prophets, I kept seeing the United States as well as other nations in the warnings for Israel and Judah.
Some people blame hurricanes, floods, wildfires and other natural disasters on “global warming.” However, if we consider the book of Amos, we realize God used disasters to wake up people so they would turn back to Him. In this case, they didn’t.
“‘I smote you with scorching wind and mildew;
And the caterpillar was devouring
Your many gardens and vineyards, fig trees and olive trees;
Yet you have not returned to Me,’ declares the Lord.
‘I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt;
I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses,
And I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils;
Yet you have not returned to Me,’ declares the Lord.” (Amos 4:9–10 NASB)
Could the natural disasters we’re experiencing comprise a similar wake-up call for us? I believe so, along with the anarchy, godlessness, and other evils plaguing our country.
Many other believers agree. So on the weekend of September 25 to 27, 2020, thousands of Christians from all denominations gathered in Washington DC as millions joined them through the Internet to pray for God’s mercy on America and the world.
This weekend of returning to God culminated in the feast of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. In ancient Israel, Yom Kippur was the only day in the year when the high priest could enter through the temple veil into the Holy of Holies, into God’s presence. There, he would offer the sacrifice to cover the sins of the people – temporarily.
On the cross, Jesus Christ became the final sacrifice for sin, and at His death, the thick temple curtain was was torn in two from top to bottom.
The torn veil signified that Jesus had satisfied God’s wrath for sin. It also showed that through His sacrifice believers have access to approach God.
We have freedom to approach the holy God only through Jesus’ righteousness. His sacrifice was not just a covering, but the cleansing for our sin.
Yet, we still sin, and so we must continue to confess and repent. We can be confident, if we have faith in Jesus, that when we confess and turn away from our sins, He will forgive us and cleanse our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). All because Jesus paid the price.
Our prayers of repentance must go on, because our sinfulness continues. So I offer this song as a way we can join together and pray for the nation – not just the US, but any nation – to repent and honor God as He deserves.
I want to thank the Pixabay and Unsplash photographers who allowed the use of their photos and videos in this music video.