It was a vote heard in heaven. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, an amendment was raised to exclude God from the Democratic platform. After three attempts at passing this by voice vote, the Convention Chairman ruled that the amendment passed, regardless of the large group of delegates who objected. Had God just been voted out of a major national party?
Don’t take this as an attack on Democrats. That vote was just a visible expression of the rapid secularization of America in virtually every aspect of our national life. What began slowly in the 1960s with the removal of prayer from public schools has picked up speed through the decades and has now accelerated beyond what most thought possible.
Same-sex marriage is now the law of the land. Disagreement is not allowed. What God says in His Word is not in the equation.
A mother’s womb is still one of the most dangerous places for a child since the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 (Roe v. Wade) that women have the right to an abortion. Since then, more than 58 million children have been denied the right to birth. And now the Affordable Care Act is beginning to use government powers to force companies to provide the finances for abortions.
Terrorism touched our nation deeply on September 11, 2001. The resulting war in Iraq cost thousands of American lives, and we still face the growing threat of ISIS at home and abroad. This, combined with the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, has created an environment of fear and uncertainty in our country.
Racial division has been a problem for many years, but it seems to have re-emerged as a flashpoint for violence and hatred.
The war on poverty and the war on drugs are wars we have lost. Wars cannot be won when we don’t know who the enemy is.
The point is made. We are living in tough times. It’s hard to know who to trust or turn to for help. Political candidates and parties make promises and break them before the end of an election cycle.
The great danger for us now is that we will lose hope. Many Christians are pretty much convinced that we’re living in the last days and we can’t do anything about what is happening. No hope for change.
I should say in all honesty that I too believe we are living in the last days. But I also have great hope. Not just for the coming of Jesus but for His followers bringing about change in this nation.
Christian author and speaker Dutch Sheets shares that optimism in a recent blog post:
Some Christian leaders teach that America will not awaken, turn back to God and recapture her spiritual destiny. Their eschatology doesn’t allow for a “comeback”; for them, the apostasy must continue to worsen.
Many secular leaders also contend that this rebirth will never occur. “America has progressed too far,” they assert with smug satisfaction, “having left behind its antiquated, Puritanistic ideals and outdated beliefs.”
With such a dire diagnosis, why, then, am I not hopeless? To the contrary, I have great hope for America, because the depth of a fall never determines God’s ability to restore.
I’m not afraid of the powerful strongholds, because size and strength are completely irrelevant when measuring His ability to deliver. And I’m not intimidated, because statistical odds cease to be relevant when God is involved. His limitless ability negates the very concept of odds and trumps all other winning hands.
Don’t embrace any theology or creed that allows God to lose!
I have hope. I dream of a reborn America that is once again a shining light to the rest of the world. I believe this dream was born in God’s heart, embedded in a small group of emigrant pilgrims, and I am confident He still maintains it.
Join me as I dream. Partner with the “superintending providence” that was active in our founding, is involved with our present, and has great plans for our future.
Let it be said of our generation that when a nation teetered on the edge of destruction, having lost the ancient path of truth, we answered the divine call to war for its restoration.
Let it be said of us, as it was of our forefathers, that in the face of overwhelming odds, we took our stand in the celestial courtroom, appealing to the Judge of all the earth for His saving grace, mercy, and sustaining power (Dutch Sheets, blog, June 16, 2015).
Thank you, Dutch, for igniting a fire in many Christians regarding hope for the future. Without that hope we will never give ourselves to prayer for our nation. The defeatist mentality, that says the best days of the United States are in the past, will not have the courage to pick up the weapon of intense intercession needed to face the challenges of our day.
Next week we’ll look more at the need for hope and at encouragement from God’s Word. Ask God for a fresh vision of what can happen in this nation as we learn to trust His power and pray for His intervention.
Adapted from With One Cry: A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America by David Butts (PrayerShop 2016).
Dave Butts is a founding Executive Team member of OneCry. For this book and an entire web store full of prayer resources, go to www.PrayerShop.org.