Prayer Targets: The Lord's Whirlwind; God's Interventions - Then & Now; Election Prayers
October 31, 2012
Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury-- A violent whirlwind! Jeremiah 23:19
Dear Praying Friends,
Hurricane Sandy has devastated much of the eastern seaboard and has done damage across the nation's northeast quadrant. As of this writing, it has killed 130 people: 59 people on the U.S. east coast (71 more in the Caribbean). It has displaced families, destroyed thousands of homes, left millions without power, and caused extensive public and private property damage in 21 states plus Washington, D.C. - not to mention lost personal and business income.
In January 2001, President George W. Bush closed his Inaugural Address with a quote from Virginia statesman John Page. Page, a longtime member of the Virginia House of Delegates, four term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Governor of Virginia, was the state's Lieutenant Governor when, on July 20, 1776, he wrote his close friend, Thomas Jefferson:
I am highly pleased with your Declaration. God preserve the United States - We know the Race is not to the swift nor the Battle to the strong - Do you now think an Angel rides in the whirlwind (and) directs this Storm?"
The Battle, Page wrote of, was the battle for freedom and the war with Great Britain. He was asking, "Do you believe God is with us?" President Bush said, "This work continues. This story goes on. And an Angel still rides in the Whirlwind and directs this storm..."
Little did George W. Bush know that just eight months later he would face 9-11, and the first foreign assault on American soil since Pearl Harbor. Little did he know that four years later, he would face Hurricane Katrina and three years later, the onslaught of the worst financial crisis the nation has faced since the Great Depression.
During the American Revolution, a praying Continental Congress called the shots and a praying General George Washington led the ill-equipped and outnumbered Continental Army to victory over the greatest military force in the world. History records fortuitous weather events - supernatural miracles at just the right time - off Brooklyn Heights, the Delaware River, at Yorktown, and more, that gave Americans the edge over Great Britain. The American nation was born and, as President Bush said, the work and story of American Liberty goes on.
But we are in a different day. Back then, we were still feeling the impact of the First Great Awakening (1730-1760). Americans, even those who had not experienced the new birth, held to a biblical view of morality, and our founders had a profound respect for the God of the Bible, recognizing Him as the author of human liberty. They established a Christian republic, openly acknowledged by all, until the 20th Century. The pastors and churchmen of the period saw civic involvement as a sacred duty. The British deplored and feared the Black-Robed Regiment. Then in the Second Great Awakening (1790-1845), Rev. Charles Finney similarly preached that political involvement was a sacred duty for all Christians, but especially pastors.
But over the past several decades, the American ship has veered far off course. Christians have allowed prayer and Bible reading to be removed from our public schools, the Ten Commandments to be removed from our public buildings, laws passed giving unlimited rights to divorce, the Constitution reinterpreted to allow for the killing of unborn children, the redefinition of marriage in six states, and the distribution of abortifacient drugs to all women at taxpayer expense. Now, our President declares America no longer to be a Christian nation and is implementing a socialistic economic vision for America, including socialized medicine. Moreover, he has snubbed our close ally, Israel, while appeasing the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist factions in the Middle East. Because God's blessing is tied to our nation's support for Israel, many believe this may be the last straw (see Gen 12:3). We are at a defining moment in our nation.
In the week leading up to our 2012 Presidential Election, we face the nation's worst economic troubles in decades, uproar in the Middle East involving the U.S., and another devastating natural disaster, the latest in a growing pattern of severe, destructive weather. "The annual number of billion-dollar disasters in the U.S. - earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes and more - has tripled since the 1980s, from two to about six per year. And 2011 was especially severe, with 14 separate $1 billion-plus weather events... Losses from U.S. natural disasters in 2011 topped $60 billion" (see Face the Facts).
Longtime revivalist, historian and author, Rev. Richard O. Roberts, wrote:
There will be found a large number of sermons that were preached at the Fast Days and Solemn Assemblies which were frequently called and earnestly attended by American believers prior to the general decline of true Christianity which characterizes twentieth-century America.
Our Fathers believed God was offended by sin. They...were deeply troubled both by the existence of personal sin in their own lives and by the presence of unconfessed corporate sins in the churches and in the nation. They regarded natural calamities as manifestations of the displeasure of God Almighty against sin and allowed such events as earthquakes, fires, volcanoes, epidemics, floods, and droughts to prompt them to special seeking of God's face in fasting, prayer, and corporate repentance. They also sought the Lord in Solemn Assemblies in connection with wars, murders, rapes, etc., believing such outbursts of wickedness to be directly related to the general decline of moral and spiritual life in the churches (Roberts, The Solemn Assembly, from Sanctify the Congregation: A Call to the Solemn Assembly and to Corporate Repentance, International Awakening Press, 1994).
Jesus made it clear that calamities such as we are witnessing in the northeast are not the result of the sins of the victims, but warn all of us to repent (Lk 13:1-5). The whirlwind in Jeremiah (23:19) accompanies the Lord's promise to remove false prophets, coupled with his exhortation to those who have the truth of the Word of God, to boldly proclaim it.
- May God move graciously to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy. May millions of Americans help in the relief and rebuilding efforts. In the aftermath of this calamity, may many thousands be drawn to Christ, preparing them for eternity. May people everywhere be warned, repent and turn to Jesus! (2 Chr 7:14; Pr 19:17; Joel 1:3-16; 2:12-21; Mt 25:31-46; Lk 10:30-37)
- May we cry out to God with repentant hearts and strong faith, focusing upon Him who is our Deliverer. May we boldly communicate truth and endeavor urgently to persuade those whom we can both to repent and to vote Biblically! (1Sam 2:10; 2 Chr 7:14; Ps 20:7-8; 81:13-16; Pr 1:20-33; 28:4; Is 41:16; Jer 23: all; Dan 11:32; Hos 4:6; Na 1:2-7; Acts 2:21; 1 Th 5:17; 1 Tim 2:1-4; 2 Tim 3:16-17)
- May God have mercy upon our nation by removing leaders who promote abortion and homosexual behavior, who do harm to the family, and who are intolerant toward Christianity and Israel! May he elevate men and women who are champions for life, liberty, and righteousness, who support marriage and family and who respect Christian faith and Israel! May Biblical Marriage be preserved in each of the Marriage ballot states! (Ex 18:21; 20:3; 2 Sam 23:3; Ps 75:6-7; 145:8-9; 147:10-20; Pr 29:2; Mt 19:4-6; Heb 13:4; Jude 7)
Finally, this will be the last Prayer Targets prior to the 2012 Election. We are on Day 34 of 40 Days of Prayer for Revival and the Elections. When next I write, may we rejoice in God together! Thank you for praying!