Several months ago, we had a city-wide prayer gathering here in Decatur prior to the national elections. Actually, it was one of two city-wide prayer gatherings sponsored by our Morgan Baptist Association. My responsibility was to try to explain why we were gathered together to pray. It was not supposed to be a Baptist thing. Nor was it supposed to be a Republican thing. It was supposed to be a Christian thing. Believers pouring their hearts out to God asking Him to provide direction to our nation – to bring healing to a nation that has suffered for so long under the influence of the demonic that many cannot even tell the difference between right and wrong any longer. The Bible is clear: God pronounces judgment on those who call evil good and good evil. We must find our way back. We must right the ship. We must, once again, discover the moral compass that can only be provided by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will only indwell the children of God. As good Baptists, we believe that we receive the Holy Spirit at salvation, but we also believe that unconfessed sin in our lives quenches the power of the Spirit working through us and it interrupts the flow of our relationship with the Father. That is how we find ourselves in need of finding our way back to the moral compass, and sometimes the problem becomes so bad that we need something even greater. It’s what I spoke of on that morning at our prayer gathering. This is an enhanced version of my text:
My job this morning is to explain in just a few minutes why we are here. There is no better way to do that than to share God’s Word. We are here today because God has shut up the heavens and there is no rain. God has given the command and locusts are devouring our land. He has spoken and pestilence is raging. While we are experiencing drought in our part of the country, today I am referring to a drought of His Holy Spirit, and the locusts are the demons and dark forces that are stealing His Word from the hearts of even His people so that many have been deceived, and we are suffering from a pestilence of apathy that has turned to animosity towards all that is holy and righteous. And the result in 2016 (and now in 2017) is the same result as it was for Israel in 721 B.C. when Assyria swept in and swept them away into exile. The result is the same as it was for Judah in 587 B.C. when the Babylonians came and destroyed Jerusalem and carried them away and again for Israel in 70 A.D. when the Romans came.
In the United States of America, because the church has turned its back on God, I truly believe that we are facing the hand of God’s judgment, and our only hope is the very prescription that God gave to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14. If my people – not the president or the congress or the Supreme Court, but His people – who are called by His name – those of us called Christians – will humble themselves – not wait for Him to humiliate us through discipline though I believe that is coming but will voluntarily humble ourselves – and pray – that’s what we are here for today, to pray – and seek My face – not the face of a pastor or a politician but the face of Holy God – and turn from our wicked ways – and this is the hard part because it requires that we admit that we are living lives of wickedness, that even those things that we call little sins must be confessed as sin against a holy God, repented of with all of our hearts, and turned from with all of our might and God’s help because only then, God says – only then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
This, my friends, is what we desperately need. This is what I am praying for in my life. This is what I am praying for in my church. This is what I am praying for in my nation. Would you join me in this prayer? And pray for us at Southside Baptist Church as we journey toward revival May 7-10 with Bro. Ed Lacy, Evangelist and Bro. Tommy Gray, Musician leading us.