Text : 1 Tim 2:1-4
"The church will always get the government she deserves".
The above saying is very true. When a nation sins, God brings a judgement from within or without. God can bring bad government to power or allow the nation to be conquered by an adversary. When Christians pray, the grace and mercy of God are over the nation. For this reason, Christians must always pray for their nation.
The following are the benefits for praying for our nation.
- GOD GIVES US A QUIET AND PEACEABLE_LIFE
1 Tim 2;1-2 Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceable life in godliness and reverence.
We are exhorted first of all to pray for :-
a) All men
c) All in authority.
"Prayer should be a priority in our lives".
Recently ,we saw the spirit of violence in Indonesian streets. Many churches were burned down during the riots. Malaysia had her own political riots in Kampung Medan. There were also a series of violent killings in American schools.
Should not the church rise up and bind this spirit of violence ? We are commanded to pray for peace in our land.
- GOD HEALS OUR LAND
2 Chron 7:14 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.
Has our land been corrupted ? We can find the answer when we compare the lifestyles of the people today with those living 20 years ago.
a) Morals of young people
b) Values ?
c) Dressing ?
d) Censorship of TV and Astro ?
e) Materialism ?
f) Easy availability of pornographic materials on the streets ?
g) Respect of the elderly ?
h) Growth of false religions ?
We cannot deny that we are worse off today than 20 years ago. We need to pray for our nation so that God will heal our land.
"The problem today is not with unanswered prayer - but unoffered prayer"
- GOD _SPEAKS AND SENDS VISIONS
Dan 9:20-21 Now while I was speaking, praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, yes while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in vision at the beginning , being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening sacrifice.
Daniel 9:5 We have sinned and committed iniquity….
God sends Gabriel as an answer to Daniel's prayer.
Praying for our nation would include the following :-
a) Confessing our sins
b) Confessing the sins of our forefathers
c) Confessing the sins of our nation
Over the years, Christian leaders from America have visited Vietnam to ask for forgiveness for the sins of their fore fathers in the Vietnam war. Approximately 3 million Vietnamese people died, many of whom are civilians, compared with 60000 American soldiers who died in the war. The confession of sin is necessary before complete healing can take place.
Today, we must confess the sins of our nation eg. Abortion ? Cloning ? Excessive genetic engineering ? If there is no confession of sins, there will be no healing.
The sins of our forefathers will affect the future of our nation.
- GOD'S JUGDEMENT IS DELAYED OR WITH-HELD
Num 16 : 47-48 Then Aaron took it (the censer) and ran into the midst of the congregation; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped.
The incense speaks of prayer.
Because of the sin of Israel, the judgement of God started. The plague broke out and the people were dropping dead. Moses' quick instruction to Aaron to bring the incense into the congregation stopped the plague.
Many nations are ripe for the judgement of God. But God is merciful and patient and would rather that they repent. Our prayers to God could change the hearts of the people, bringing them to repentance. At the same time, God delays the judgement, giving more time for people to repent.
- GOD HEALS OUR ENVIRONMENT
1 Kings 18:45 - Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and the wind, and there was a heavy rain.
In 1 Kings 17-18, we find that drought or rain were the result of Elijah's prayer. Our prayers can affect the environment.
17:1- no rain and dew these years except at my word.
18:41 - sound of abundance of rain
18:45 - rain comes.
The neglect and rape of the environment is often a good indicator of the sins of the nation. The greed of humanity has caused much of the environment to be destroyed. Today, there is excessive deforestation in third world countries. In developed countries, major environmental catastrophes happen due to poor safety standards.
Today, we can have massive floods in some parts of the world and severe drought in other parts at the same time. We are on a destructive tail spin because of the massive abuse of the environment.
What world will we leave behind for our children ? We need to pray so that God will heal the environment.
Prayer is the prelude to peace, the prologue to power, the preface to purpose, and the pathway to perfection.
National prayers are often neglected. Every year, when the National Evangelistic Christian Fellowship organizes the national prayer on August 31st, Merdeka Day, the prayer meetings are poorly attended. I pray that the churches in Malaysia will begin to rise up and take responsibility to pray for our nation.
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