Prayer is a benefit that we all share as children of the risen Savior! It is one of those few activities in which all believers can participate, no matter what their denominational stripe. We all have access to the throne of His grace due to the shed blood of Jesus.
That's one of the reasons I enthusiastically support the National Day of Prayer and its efforts to bring the church together on May 2. That we have the support of our government for this day is a rare blessing that we must not take for granted.
These are perilous times for our country. More than ever, America must realize that our hope lies not in its political, its educational or even its religious institutions. Our hope is in Christ! What we need in our land is revival.
At the root of America's problems is a spiritual malaise. We need to pray for our country like never before. And we need to reach out to a lost world with the gospel like never before. We need more people hearing about who Jesus is and what He promises. We need to get back to the true God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—the God who sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be born in the manger, to die on the cross and to rise from the dead three days later.
If we turn back to that God, then He promises He will bless us. Here is the promise of God in Scripture to any nation, including ours: "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Notice to whom God directs His remarks. God didn't say, "If Congress will turn from their wicked ways" or "If Hollywood would turn from their wicked ways." Rather, God points His finger at His house—at you and me as believers.
So while revival is ultimately God's work, we do have a part to play. It begins with repentance and prayer—humble, earnest and fervent.
Revival is a work of the Holy Spirit; it's what God does for us. But listen to this: evangelism is what we do for God. Preaching the gospel is our responsibility. Christ commissioned us to go into the world and spread the Good News. America needs to turn back to the Lord again, and we should pray for that, but in the meantime, we should be busy about the work that He has given to us.
Flushed with prayer
If we learn anything from past periods of revival, we will note that they are all marked by fervent, passionate prayer. If we would see our nation turn back to righteousness, then we must pray. If we would see souls saved, then we must pray and we must proclaim the gospel.
These are the two passions I have, and in 2013 we have two national events that accomplish those objectives.
The first is the National Day of Prayer. The second is Harvest America.
On May 2 we will come together as a nation to pray for our country, its leaders and its citizens. We will pray for our nation to return to the values that made this country strong and unique. We will pray for an outpouring of God's Spirit to draw Americans into a life-changing relationship with Jesus. And we will pray for the strengthening of the family, which is the foundation for any civilized society.
If we pray, God will hear. If He hears, who knows what He might do!
Seeking a Harvest
Then, this Sept. 28 and 29, we are asking churches all across the nation to open their sanctuaries for a presentation of the gospel that we are calling "Harvest America." We are providing all the tools a church or an individual needs to host a successful evangelistic event that will be streamed live from Philadelphia. I will bring a simple gospel message and will be joined by musical guests MercyMe, Kirk Franklin, Jeremy Camp and Lecrae. All the information a church needs to participate is found on the Harvest America website.
Last year we had more than 2,400 host sites, with over 300,000 in combined attendance. It was one of the largest live evangelistic events in American history!
Let's do all we can, while we can, to seek revival for our great land.
Our great country needs it like never before.
Laurie, founder of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside and the international Harvest Crusades, is the 2013 honorary chairman of the National Day of Prayer. For more information, visit www.nationaldayofprayer.org or www.harvestamerica.com.
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