Thursday, May 02, 2013

A Time To Pray

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Today is the 62nd annual National Day of Prayer.

Tens of millions of Christians across this nation are joining together this morning at 12 Noon EDT--9 AM PDT to pray the following prayer in unison.

You may join me live and others in our radio audience at 9 AM PDT this morning by clicking here as we join others across the nation in simultaneously asking for God's forgiveness and healing of our land.

Prayer to be prayed for the National Day of Prayer by Pastor Greg Laurie, honorary chairman for the NDOP in Washington, DC, May 2nd, 2013:

Father, we come to You to pray for our nation, the United States of America.

How You have blessed us through the years, Lord! We rightly sing, "America, America, God shed His grace on thee." Yet we see trouble in our culture today. We see the breakdown of the family, crippling addictions, and random acts of horrific violence.

Lord, we need Your help in America. In recent days, we have done our best to remove Your Word and Your counsel from our courtrooms, classrooms, and culture. It seems, as President Lincoln once said, that we have "forgotten God." But Lord, You have not forgotten us! You can bless and help and revive our country again.

Scripture tells us that "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34). Lord, in Your mercy, we ask that You would exalt our country again. We have had a number of great awakenings in America. We have experienced times of refreshing, and revivals that changed not only the spiritual but also the moral landscape. As the psalmist said, "Will You not revive us again, so that Your people may rejoice in You?" (Psalm 85:6).

That is our prayer for America today, Lord. Send a mighty spiritual awakening that will turn the hearts of men and women, boys and girls, back to you. You have told us if we will humble ourselves and pray, and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, that You will forgive our sins and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Forgive us today, Lord, and heal this troubled land that we love so much.

We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ.


This united prayer may well be a turning point in the life of the church in America and in the culture.

Throughout American history there are documented times where God intervened in the affairs of this exceptional nation to advance His purposes.

Consider this by Arnold Friberg:
There are some conflicting accounts and questions about the accuracy of the story of Isaac Potts, George Washington and the prayer at Valley Forge. The following account is taken from the "Diary and Remembrances" of the Rev. Nathaniel Randolph Snowden, an ordained Presbyterian minister and graduate of Princeton with a degree from Dickinson College, who was born in 1770 and died in 1851. Rev. Snowden stated:

"I knew personally the celebrated Quaker Potts who saw Gen'l Washington alone in the woods at prayer. I got it from himself, myself. Weems mentioned it in his history of Washington, but I got it from the man myself, as follows:

"I was riding with him (Mr. Potts) in Montgomery County, Penn'a near to the Valley Forge, where the army lay during the war of ye Revolution. Mr. Potts was a Senator in our State and a Whig. I told him I was agreeably surprised to find him a friend to his country as the Quakers were mostly Tories. He said, 'It was so and I was a rank Tory once, for I never believed that America c'd proceed against Great Britain whose fleets and armies covered the land and ocean, but something very extraordinary converted me to the Good Faith!" "What was that," I inquired? 'Do you see that woods, and that plain. It was about a quarter of a mile off from the place we were riding, as it happened.' 'There,' said he, 'laid the army of Washington. It was a most distressing time of ye war, and all were for giving up the Ship but that great and good man. In that woods pointing to a close in view, I heard a plaintive sound as, of a man at prayer. I tied my horse to a sapling and went quietly into the woods and to my astonishment I saw the great George Washington on his knees alone, with his sword on one side and his cocked hat on the other. He was at Prayer to the God of the Armies, beseeching to interpose with his Divine aid, as it was ye Crisis, and the cause of the country, of humanity and of the world.

'Such a prayer I never heard from the lips of man. I left him alone praying.

'I went home and told my wife. I saw a sight and heard today what I never saw or heard before, and just related to her what I had seen and heard and observed. We never thought a man c'd be a soldier and a Christian, but if there is one in the world, it is Washington. She also was astonished. We thought it was the cause of God, and America could prevail.' "He then to me put out his right hand and said 'I turned right about and became a Whig.'"

There are several other accounts of the Prayer at Valley Forge, mostly differing in minor details, but remaining substantially the same. One even exists in the writing of Isaac Potts' own daughter Ruth-Anna, who died in 1811. She relates the story even down to the detail of Potts converting to the American cause after seeing General Washington in prayer.

Then Came Spring and things made a dramatic change:

The bright spot that occurred during the Continental Army's sojourn at Valley Forge was that they began a strict training regimen under the direction of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin Stueben, better known as Baron von Steuben, a former Prussian captain who was hired by General Washington to inspect the troops and advise on their battle readiness. Baron von Steuben implemented a regular training schedule that taught the previously untrained troops how to use the bayonet, maneuver on the battlefield and mount guard and sentry duty. He also wrote a manual called "Regulation for the Order of Discipline of the Troops of the United States."

Things began to change for the Continental Army in the spring with the appointment of General Nathanael Greene, to replace Thomas Mifflin, as Quartermaster General. The able General Greene quickly built new roads and bridges and food and supplies began to flow into the camp. Another decisive moment occurred during the Valley Forge encampment with the official entry of the French into the war on the side of the Americans in April. French supplies and uniforms soon began arriving in the encampment.

The entrance of France on the side of the Americans forced the British to reassess their strategy of occupying Philadelphia. The French fleet could easily trap the British army in Philadelphia by sailing up the Delaware River. This caused General Howe to decide to abandon Philadelphia in June 1778 and return his army to New York. General Washington and his winter hardened army soon marched back into the city and chased the British as they retreated toward New York through New Jersey. This culminated in the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse in Monmouth, New Jersey. A decisive victor was not really clear, but it was the British who ended up fleeing from General George Washington and his newly trained and professional Continental Army. It is this same army that wound up fighting Lord Cornwallis at York, Virginia only a few years later, causing the defeat of the entire British army.

Even though the encampment at Valley Forge was a trying time for the brave American patriots, with much suffering and loss of life. It was also a valuable time of training and enduring that taught this once underprepared collection of farmers and merchants how to fight and win on the battlefield. Apparently, Isaac Potts' premonition of a victorious George Washington and his American army came to pass and General Washington's prayer at Valley Forge that day in the woods was answered!

God hears and answers prayer. Be patient. Keep your faith and trust in Him. Do not weary in well doing.

God bless you, and may He heal and bless America.