Pray With Weeping Repentance

October 29, 2012

Friends,
Last night we went to a city-wide prayer meeting which was hosted by The Arlington Pastors Network and held in one of UTA’s stadiums. It was a time to corporately worship the Lord, repent of individual and national sin, and to pray that God will relent from the judgement He has obviously pronounced and begun against our wicked nation.

The songs were worshipful. The many prayers –prayers of repentance, of acknowledgement of sin, of honor to God, and for His mercy– led by different city and church leaders were well stated. However, I kept feeling there was something missing.

During our church’s morning service a few hours before, our pastor had given a good message on this same subject as he dissected 2 Chron. 7:14 with excellent commentary. He reminded us that God does want to forgive us and heal our land, but that we must do something to enact that. And of course what we must do is to repent. This verse reveals what that is –that repentance is about humbling ourselves before God, seeking His face (the knowledge of Him and His will and ways), and turning from our wicked ways.

So what did I feel was missing at the city-wide meeting? First of all, people were missing. There were maybe 1,200 people there, but the place probably could seat at least 5,000. So in a large city like Arlington with numerous churches, where were the Christians hanging out last night so as to be kept from showing up to pray for our nation’s dire need?

Well, a football game was going on at the same time. Hmmm… –Can anyone say, “Idolatry”? And it was kind of cold. Hmmm… –Can anyone say, “Complacent”? And to get out of the house was an effort and an inconvenience of course. Hmmm… –Can anyone say, “Self-centered and lazy”?

Foolish, foolish nation we are. We’re not going to be able to indulge in any of those things when we’re crying in distress and fear and misery, enduring God’s judgement because we refused to heed His many merciful warnings.

So, what else was missing at the meeting last night? Well, what do we observe from God’s Word when someone is deeply and genuinely repentant or is in true intercession? We see desperation. We see weeping, sobbing, wailing, grief… This should be present whether we are repenting concerning our own sin and punishment, or whether we are calling out to God on behalf of another. (Amos 6:6 // Luke 18:13 // James 4:7-10 // etc.)

Isa. 22:12 tells us that God calls us to weep, wail, put on sackcloth, and tear out our hair. Joel 1:8-15 tells us to do similar as we call a sacred assembly and vigil at which we are to fast, mourn, wear sackcloth, and cry out to the Lord together in His house. Ps. 51:17 and Isa. 8:13 & 66:2 inform us that God responds favorably to the one whose heart is broken, humble, and contrite, and who trembles at His Word and Presence. Moreover, we know that God promises to relent from bringing disaster if people would, in contrition, turn from their rebellion against Him. (Jer. 18:7-10 & 26:13 // Jonah 3:10)

Therefore, may the church prove its repentance on behalf of our nation. May the “Christians” themselves stop funding porn, stop paying Hollywood for its trashy movies, stop wasting countless hours surfing through internet chatter and perversities, stop spending exorbitant amounts of money on themselves, stop meditating on vindictive and illicit thoughts, and stop ignoring God’s warnings, commands, and Word.

And may each person stop with the grandiose view of themselves and quit behaving as if they’re too dignified to fall on their faces before the Holy God we’ve sinned against. May we humble ourselves enough to weep and sob before His merciful throne and desperately petition Him to spare the people, the souls, even the nation, and to, by His Spirit, help us all turn completely away from our depravity –to Him– so that we may from now on love, uphold, and live out righteousness.

Then God will answer our prayers. Then God will forgive, heal our land, and bring us blessing instead of destruction.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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