I remember sometime in the 90’s during the national day of prayer hearing people quote 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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
What I always heard quoted had the “humble themselves and pray” as the emphasis. We need to humble ourselves and pray! Absolutely we do! What we need to do in order to humble ourselves is recognize and Confess the greatness of God and His love for us! then Confession of our national sins these two things are just the first step in humbling ourselves before God! (for comment on them and more see the start of this series Infected nation).
We must also Confess our personal participation in those sins. The third element we need in praying for our nation. Let’s face it; it is easy to point to the sins of our nation and confess them. However, it is far more difficult to look at ourselves in the light of Christ and confess our participation in those sins. but this is exactly what Daniel and Nehemiah did!
I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
Dan 9:20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel
Both men included themselves in the sin of their people, and both men confessed their personal participation in sinning before God. This is something we need to do also! If we want to see God move upon us, then we must confess our participation in the sins of our nation! I know what you are thinking, you are thinking of the big sins we tend to think about like abortion, homosexuality, pornography, drug abuse, alcoholism, or other sins like this. However, we should turn our attention to sin’s that tend to be more “respectful” if you will. Rather more tolerable to Christians. Sin’s like gossip, anger, bitterness, factions, dissension, pride, and other sins we tend to tolerate. These sins are also rampant in the church and among Christians. Sex before marriage, living together outside of marriage, and even pornography are sins inside the Church!
So it’s not just praying that needs to be the priority, rather it’s the prayer of repentance! Daniel and Nehemiah prayed this way and so should we. This is prayer that defeats the kingdom of darkness and the demonic strongholds that have been set up in our lives, homes, churches, and nation!
The truth is God is right and just to punish our nation for our sin! This is the fourth element of praying for a nation.
4. Confess the fact that God is right and just in punishing us for those sins. Dan 9:11-14 Neh 1:7-8
One sin remains though I failed to mention. I call it the pharisee heart. There seems to be Christians content and almost giddy at the fact the USA is or maybe experiencing the judgment of God. This is not the heart of Christ! This is the heart of Caiaphas! We need Jeremiah’s, Daniel’s, Nehemiah’s people who will weep over the sin of our nation and their participation in it. We don’t need hypocrites with a false security in their own righteousness! Jesus looked over Jerusalem and wept over her unbelief will you?
“Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster upon us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.
7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. 8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations