Prayer for A Sick Land
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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (II Chronicles 7:14).
The land that we love is sick. The disease is not new and the sickness is not unexpected. But that does not mean her condition is not critical. Untreated, it can become fatal.
Nations rise and nations fall. Sometimes an enemy destroys. Sometimes nations self-destruct. But always the hand of the Lord is involved.
He once warned his people, “I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own” (Habakkuk 1:6). Israel may not have believed it was possible—until led away captive by those Babylonians.
When Job declared, “He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them” (Job 12:23), he was speaking the truth.
9/11 has entered America’s vocabulary alongside of December 7th. Both refer to days of infamy when enemies attacked without warning. Both were wake-up calls. Both led to war.
Both wars brought victory, but neither brought the end to war or the healing of the land.
As long as sin reigns in a land, the nation is at risk. As long as wickedness is exalted, the heart of a nation is suffering. As long as healing from the holy God is refused, the nation will remain sick.
But there is hope for the land we love. The hope lies not in a strong economy or a blistering military, but with those who call themselves the People of God. Politicians and policies will not provide answers for problems between a nation and the Lord of Nations. The hope of a nation lies in the hands of those who can “take it to the Lord in prayer.”
If my people… The finger of God is pointed at us. His words do not praise us. They do not pat us on the back for living a life so much better than the godless people around us. They call us to account for our weakness, for our carelessness, for our wickedness.
Who of us can object? Which of us can claim innocence? We are part of America’s problem.
God did not bless America so that its citizens could prosper and other countries had to fear its power. God always works in ways that benefit his Church and the proclamation of his grace and glory.
It once was said that America was a Christian nation. Few make that claim today. But some Christians still claim America as their homeland, and some are still willing to fight to keep her citizens free.
Let those people remember that their greatest weapon is prayer. Let those people humble themselves, seek his face, turn from their wicked ways, and seek his forgiveness.
Let them pray for America’s sick soul, and thank him for his blessings.
This Sunday some of our congregations and pastors will pray the following prayer. We join them:
PRAYER OF REMEMBRANCE FOR 9/11/01 “Keep Us Safe”
M: God of Grace and Glory, our remembrance of the attacks of September 11tth years ago cause us to see again how weak and vulnerable we are.
C: We have learned that steel and concrete are no defense against forces of evil.
M: We thank you for offering protection that can withstand all the assaults of those that seek to harm your people.
C: Remind us that you are our refuge in days of trouble and danger. Remind us that you have warned us of coming death and destruction. Remind us that you will control all things for the good of your people.
M: We know that it is not our vigilance alone that has kept more terrorist attacks from striking our homeland.
C: We thank you for shielding us with your faithfulness.
M: Be with our nation in the days ahead. Keep enemies far from our shores. Keep safe those who serve in our Armed Forces. You, O Lord, are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
C: Let your Word shine like a beacon in this dark storm-tossed world. Let the news of salvation through Jesus the Savior penetrate all barriers, and bring joy and peace to hearts everywhere. Use us to bring this about.
M: To you, O Lord, we bring our thanks and our requests.
C: Hear our prayers for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
The devotion was written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military