Prayer Targets: When a Nation Departs from God, Trouble Comes
June 10, 2020
I pray also for those who will believe in me ... that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (Jn 17:21-23)
Dear Praying Friends,
Samuel Langdon (1723-1797) was a schoolmaster, army chaplain, pastor of the First Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire from 1747 to 1774, and 13th president of Harvard College, serving from 1774 to 1780. William J. Federer writes:
On May 31, 1775, Harvard President Samuel Langdon stated in his address, "Government Corrupted by Vice": "That for the sins of a people God may suffer the best government to be corrupted, or entirely dissolved ... Nothing but a general reformation can give ground to hope that the public happiness will be restored."
Speaking just six weeks after the Battles of Lexington and Concord... Langdon described America's cities under assault: "They ... attempted, by a sudden march of a body of troops in the night, to seize and destroy one of our magazines, formed by the people merely for their own security ... The fire began first on the side of the king's troops ...
But for what? Because they (patriots) have made a noble stand for their natural and constitutional rights, in opposition to the machinations of wicked men ... aiming to enslave and ruin the nation ..."
Langdon called for a return to God: "The kingdom of Israel was brought to destruction, because its iniquities were full ... because there remained no hope of reformation ... Their government degenerated in proportion as their vices increased, till few faithful men were left in any public offices ... At length, when they were delivered up for seventy years into the hands of the king of Babylon, scarcely any remains of their original excellent civil polity appeared among them ..."
Langdon added: "When a government is in its prime ... virtue prevails -- everything is managed with justice, prudence, and frugality ... But vice will increase with the riches and glory of an empire; and this gradually tends to corrupt the constitution, and in time bring on its dissolution ...
This may be considered not only as the natural effect of vice, but a righteous judgment of heaven, especially upon a nation which has been favored with the blessing of religion and liberty, and is guilty of undervaluing them; and eagerly going into the gratification of every lust ..."
Langdon explained what happened when a nation rejects God.
"They were a sinful nation ... who had forsaken the Lord; and provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger ...Their princes were rebellious against God ... seizing the property of the subjects ... and robbing the public treasury. Everyone loved gifts ... they were influenced in everything by bribery ... they even justified and encouraged the murder of innocent persons to support their lawless power ... And God, in righteous judgment, left them to run into all this excess of vice to their own destruction, because they had forsaken Him ...The public greatly suffered, and the people groaned, and wished for better rulers and better management... But in vain they hoped for a change ...when the spirit of religion was gone, and the infection of vice was become universal ...the whole body being so corrupted, there could be no rational prospect of any great reformation in the state, but rather of its ruin ..."
Rev. Samuel Langdon told the Massachusetts Provincial Congress: "We must keep our eyes fixed on the supreme government of the ETERNAL KING, as directing all events ... Yet if a general reformation of religion and morals had taken place, and they had turned to God from all their sins -- if they had again recovered the true spirit of their religion, God, by the gracious interpositions of His providence, would soon have found out methods to restore the former virtue of the state, and again have given them men of wisdom and integrity ...
... We have rebelled against God. We have lost the true spirit of Christianity, though we retain the outward profession and form of it. We have neglected ... the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and His holy commands and institutions ... Their hearts are far from Him. By many, the Gospel is corrupted into a superficial system of moral philosophy, little better than ancient Platonism ..."
Langdon concluded: "Let us repent and implore the divine mercy. Let us amend our ways and our doings, reform everything that has been provoking the Most High and thus endeavor to obtain the gracious interpositions of Providence for our deliverance... May the Lord hear us in this day of trouble... We will rejoice in His salvation, and in the name of our God, we will set up our banners!
Wherefore is all this evil upon us? Is it not because we have forsaken the Lord? Can we say we are innocent of crimes against God? No, surely it becomes us to humble ourselves under His mighty hand, that He may exalt us in due time ... ... If God be for us, who can be against us?
The enemy has reproached us for calling on His name and professing our trust in Him. They have made a mock of our solemn fasts and every appearance of serious Christianity in the land ...May our land be purged from all its sins! Then the Lord will be our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble, and we will have no reason to be afraid, though thousands of enemies set themselves against us round about." (William J. Federer, American Minute, Part 2 of "If you take way religion, you cannot hire enough police.")
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, churches, businesses, parks, and beaches were closed by government mandate. There were to be no gatherings of 10 or more in some states and "social distancing" rules were enforced by state and municipal governments. All of this seemed judicious and wise considering the threat, and many churches complied. However, the calloused killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis rocked the nation, with people flooding the streets of major cities in protest of the injustice. Suddenly, the same governors and mayors who had us all on lockdown cheered on the protests, most of which broke all the "social distancing" rules and bans on large gatherings. Some, like New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio, have even tried to justify the protests as essential and therefore merit exceptions to coronavirus regulations, while church services were not deemed essential.
While some protestors have been principled, peaceful, and even prayerful -- justified in expressing righteous anger at such moral injustice, other protestors were violent -- rioting, looting, burning, and destroying property. In the aftermath, many cities are badly damaged. Despite the destruction, some liberal mayors and governors did not adequately protect human life and property, and yet rejected help from the National Guard. The mayor of Washington, D.C. even demanded that the National Guard leave the city. It will take months or years for cities to clean up and rebuild. Many small, minority-owned businesses have been ruined and they may never recover, having been destroyed by members of their own community and hired rioters from outside their community. The practical, economic toll has not yet been tabulated, but the emotional damage and cost to the American people's hearts and minds may never be determined.
Some opportunist politicians are blaming the police brutality, racism, and violent riots on President Trump and other political adversaries, attempting to use these tragic events for their advantage. It is our biblical duty to pray for the president and all those who are in authority (1 Tim 2:1-8).
Genuine racial reconciliation that will bring peace and well-being to America is a matter of the heart. Murder and rioting are not vehicles for healing. Government can make some structural changes in American law and enforcement policies, but racism can only be eradicated and racial reconciliation achieved via heart-level repentance, forgiveness, and God-given love. Our nation's hope is in God, not government. The pastors and people of all churches must work together, practice agape love, and be the answer to Jesus' high priestly prayer in John 17. If we, God's people of every color, will love one another as Christ has loved us, this seemingly intractable racial division can be healed.
Meanwhile, the strange idea of defunding or eliminating police forces in some of America's cities has been seriously proposed by leftist politicians and echoed by some of their constituents. These efforts reveal a dangerously shocking ignorance of both Bible truth and human history -- both of which demonstrate the sinful and criminal propensities of mankind and outcomes of lawlessness. God ordained government to keep the peace and administer justice. God also holds those with authority to a higher account -- He in no way defends police brutality. But unrestrained by moral law or the fear of accountability and punishment for wrongdoing by civil authorities, our communities would fast be overrun with crime.
God, let your people, the salt and light in our nation, be about your business of extraordinary love for one another. Help us to join in with and be the answer to your high priestly prayer -- that we might be one in you, just as you and the Father are one. May we endeavor to do so, that the world will take the gospel seriously as they see how we love one another even as you love us. Lord, revive your church and awaken our nation. May churches and families across America observe the Call2Fall on June 28th, each member humbling him or herself on their knees before you in humble repentance. Help us to heed your warning and return to you with all our hearts. Help us to obey your command to love one another as you have loved us. With your abiding presence, we can lead others to know you and to learn of your love.
Join us together on Sunday, June 28th for the Call2Fall and also The Return on September 26th! (Ps 102:17; Jer 3:21-22; 29:12-13; Joel 1:13-14, 2:12-17, 28-32; Mk 11:25; Lk 5:32; Acts 2:21, 3:19; 1 Tim 2:8,; 1 Th 5:16-18, Jas 5:16; 1 Jn 1:9: Mt 5:13-16, 10:16)
The Extent of Radical Sex Education in Schools -- Cathy Ruse, FRC's Senior Fellow and Director of Human Dignity, says some U.S. school districts are devoting as much as 70 hours of classroom time to sexualize children. Her new booklet (available as a free download in PDF format or as a print booklet for distribution to churches, prayer groups, etc.) is a must for every family with children or grandchildren attending public schools. It is also essential for intercessors who are standing in the gap for our nation and our children. EntitledSex Education in Public Schools: Sexualization of Children and LGBT Indoctrination, it outlines the radical changes that have occurred in the way sex education is taught in America's public schools, and why parents should be concerned. It tells how our schools are: 1) Teaching kids how to consent to sex/ and using "how to" sex workshops; 2) Teaching "Fake Abstinence" -- abstinence until your next steady boy/girlfriend; 3) Secret abortions -- your parents never have to know; 4) Students pressured to declare themselves LGBT "allies"; 5) Same-sex role playing; 6) Teaching children that they could be born in the wrong body. Cathy writes, "Today's sex ed lessons can be highly manipulative -- carefully designed to get children to approve of the concept of sexual rights and fluid sexual 'identities,' and to reject their religious beliefs, the authority of their parents, and even physical reality itself."
Cathy says, "Even if parents identify problematic lessons in sex ed and manage to opt their kids out, that won't protect them from sex propaganda appearing elsewhere in school, such as in the halls, in history class, on the calendar, and in the library... As parents, we should insist on the best for our children. Demanding risk avoidance-based sex ed, filing universal opt-out letters annually, and attending school board meetings are proactive ways that parents can let their schools know that they are informed, they are watching, and they are prepared to act." (Read it all at frc.org/sexeducation; universal opt-out letter).
Father, the church must arise to win our generation and the next. Help us before it is entirely too late! (Dt 6:6-7, 11:18-19; Ps 34:11; 127:3-4, 139:13-16; Pr 4:1-14, 22:6; Mt 18:6-7, 10; Lk 17:2; Rom 16:19-20; Eph 6:4; 2 Tim 3:16-17)
Thank you for praying with us. Visit Cathy's article and pray over each thought as you are led!