By Alexander Redd ([email protected])
There’s no better time than now to pray for our country. It is time for all true believers in Christ Jesus to bow their hearts and their knees in the presence of our Almighty God. Why should we unceasingly and urgently pray? Our homeland, Liberia, is going through an outburst of stressful time, and the adversary is currently at work to foment disunity and hamstring progress of gainful peace and stability. Moreover, Scripture urges us to pray for all men and women, including our country’s leaders, and “all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). God calls a nation to pray. Prayer is an earthly request for heavenly intervention. It is the tool and strategy that we have been given in order to pull something down from the invisible and into the visible. Prayer enacts God’s hand in history like nothing else because prayer is relational communication with God.
The first thing God says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 about those whose prayers get through to him is that they are “My people who are called by My name.” This tells us who can pray. Have you ever wondered why the Liberian legislature invites prayer, yet none of all that is going wrong in our country isn’t getting fixed? It bothers me when most public officials emphasize prayer, especially at the start of each session, and little happens except for quarrels and conflicts among them. Why so? How is it possible for the Spirit of God to provide wisdom when there’s an infusion of bitter jealousy, selfish ambition in the heart, arrogance and prevalence of falsehood.
For where these things exist, Apostle James notes, there is disorder, every evil thing, and the absence of peace and righteousness (James 3:13-18). On the other hand, God knows whose prayer He hears.It has to do with whose prayers God hears. When God says, “My people” are to pray, He is talking about His covenant people. In the Old Testament, His covenant people were Israel. In the New Testament, it is the church, the body of believers who follow Jesus Christ. God is not obligated to hear the prayers of sinners, unless they are asking for forgiveness. God has no obligation to sinners who pray because they are not His people and they have not been called by His name.
Only Christians get full access to heaven’s ears. Only God’s children have access to the throne of grace. If God has allowed Liberia to decline, only Christians can make Him rethink that. If God has decided to allow our cities to continue to deteriorate, only Christians can reverse that. Let that truth sink in because it is the foundation of Liberia’s future. The principle here is that of representation. That is, only God’s appointed representatives get through to Him. His people can get through to Him because they bear His name, which means they are under His authority. When God calls us His people, He is saying, “You belong to Me. You are called to live under My authority.” That’s who can pray. And that’s why Satan’s main goal today is to keep Christians from getting it together, especially on their knees, because he knows if we ever get it together, he’s in bad shape.
Satan’s big thing is rendering Christians inoperative. He’s not worried about the sinners. He can handle any sinner because the sinners already belong to him. They don’t know they belong to him, but they do. But if he can lull Christians to sleep spiritually, he’s ready to run the show. Beyond our being His people, God says in 2 Chronicles verse 14 that we need a specific heart attitude when we pray for our country. He’s seeking those who will “humble themselves.” Humble Christians get through to God.
Humility has the idea of dependency. It marks those who understand that without Him, they can do nothing (John 15:5). Too many of us are autonomous and self-sufficient in our own minds. The Bible calls it being “haughty,” because we don’t really believe that we need God. Some of us think God is for emergencies only. Wrong mindset! And so God allows us to go through trials that we cannot fix to humble us and to put us flat on our backs, as if to say, “Now let’s see you get up all by yourself.” The opposite of God putting you flat on your back is you putting yourself flat on your face before Him in humility. When we kneel, or when we lie prostrate before the Lord, we are demonstrating humility.
Indeed, humility is tied to our prayer because prayer is by its nature an admission of our weakness and need. Many Christians don’t pray because they are too proud. If you don’t pray you are proud, because prayer says to God, “I need you. I can’t solve this problem alone. I am not sufficient in myself to do what needs to be done and to be what You want me to be.” This is why the first challenge we must overcome in bringing about change in Liberia is to get Christians to bring themselves and their problems before the face of God.
To put prayer last means to put God last, and to put God last means everything else we do is a waste of time. Therefore, let us put God’s kingdom and His righteousness first and all other things will follow in cadence with His time and plan for our homeland.