Praying Men And Women Can Turn The Tide
By Quinton J. Everest
The God who made America a place of freedom, of plenty, and a land of strength – this God, who is the only and true God – is today being opposed, neglected, ignored and abused by many. If it were possible, they would annihilate Him altogether. By treating Him thus, our nation’s confusion is increased; hate is intensified; evil is increasingly glorified; problems are multiplied; purity and Biblical idealism are derided, and honesty and justice are discarded.
Four hundred years ago, our forefathers came to these shores to worship God in spirit and in truth. They had a rugged faith in God, which, even in the midst of hardship, danger, and strenuous toil brought them calmness of soul, peace of mind, and hope for the future. The way was far from easy, but it was their trust in God – and the trust of many others since – that have made America a great land.
The thing that made America strong and free and one of the most blessed places on the face of the earth to live, was and is, praying men and women. Unless we realize this, unless we see another generation of praying men and women coming on the scene, and that right soon, we are headed for the ash heap. Many nations have gone down because of immorality and pleasure-seeking. Many have been defeated and utterly destroyed because God was forgotten, ignored, and disobeyed.
America is no exception! I declare to you – we need God, and we must have God, if our problems are to be solved. We need a general humbling and crying to God. From the least to the greatest, we need to repent! The great need of the hour is Samuels, Daniels, and Pauls who have an unquestioning, undaunted faith in God and who will fast and pray until God breaks through, until sin is uncovered and uprooted, and until lives are converted, purified, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
A National Crisis
Look at conditions in the days of Samuel. He came on the scene in one of those desperate and checkered hours of Israel’s history. Worship had sadly degenerated. The nation was given to perpetual sinning of the worst kind. It was poisoned with idolatry. Even in the high places, immorality had become a rotting stench.
Here and there could be found one or more who still had a flickering faith in Jehovah, and at Shiloh, the forms of religion were kept up after a fashion. But nationally, their faith in God had become formal and dead. The whole nation was lying and wallowing in the slime and filth of a long period of backsliding.
Israel’s hereditary enemies, the Philistines, had beaten them in battle. Hophni and Phinehas, the evil offspring of a great line, had perished in the struggle. The ark, the sacred symbol of God’s presence, had been captured by these hated foes, and now the whole land was under a galling yoke. The national glory was gone; the pride of race was crushed; true faith in Jehovah was dying. Surely it was a dull, dreary, and burden-laden hour.
The need was desperate! What was to be done? Things in which men had trusted had now failed.
An Effectual Solution
We discover that during the time of Israel’s pitiful plight there was an effectual solution. What was it? It was a great national prayer meeting! (1 Sam. 7:5-6).
Samuel was a mighty man of devotion and prayer. He was faithful in this task of prayer and faithful in teaching the people that they must come back to God. Finally he saw the signs of an awakening, and he called a great nation-wide meeting. He could read the signs of the times, and he told the people that if they would gather together at Mizpeh that he would pray for them, and the whole nation gathered to hear him pray.
It was a time of fasting and a time of prayer with a nation upon its knees, brought there by the praying of one earnest man. James says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (Jas. 5:16). The people of Israel needed a strong man, and at this time of need, they looked to one who was able to really pray. The Philistines heard of this great gathering of Israel and thought that these subjects might be planning some kind of an offensive; so they came up against Israel with tremendous power. The Israelites saw this and they began to look to Samuel and said, “Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that He will save us out of the hand of the Philistines” (1 Sam. 7:8).
Here they were – terror stricken, despairing, and almost ready to give up. All they could do, and the thing they did, was to build their hopes on the prayers of this man. The Word tells us that when Samuel prayed unto the Lord that he was heard (v. 9). His prayers were mightier than the armies of the Philistines. The enemy was defeated. Israel came back to God, and God was glorified.
Immediately someone will say that surely that was a wonderful prayer that Samuel offered. Remember, it was not only the praying he did in that moment, but it was all the praying and the godly living that had preceded it that brought results. Prayers like those of Samuel are not forgotten by God. They are treasured in the golden vials full of odors which are the prayers of the saints.
In this time of crisis, there was a perfect understanding between Samuel and his God which had been produced by years of fellowship and walking together. Samuel knew God, and better still, God knew him. Surely it is a wonderful thing when the man who prays and the God who must answer are well acquainted.
Are You Ready to Pray for America?
We can howl about the corrupt political situation in our nation. We can rant on about the immorality. But I wonder how you stand before God? Are you really and genuinely a child of the Lord? Have your sins been forgiven? And are you walking the high, white line of a holy, righteous life?
The way into the inner sanctuary, to receive answers to your prayers, is the way of holy living and constant communion. For God to answer you and answer the people of our nation under any other condition would be to put a premium upon sinful living and neglect. It would be giving the keys of God’s storehouse to those who desire only to consume it upon their own lusts. Samuel did not belong to that class.
If you are interested in America and her future, you better start looking to God and trusting in Him and being genuine to the core. You better get on praying ground and do some real praying.
God searches for men and women who pray when the days are dark, when there is not a single break in the clouds, when the devil seems to be triumphing, and the hosts of God appear to be defeated. The one who prays faithfully, honestly, earnestly, continuously, and sacrificially is the one who will turn the tide!
We Live in a Critical Time!
Friends, what are we going to do? Are we going to meet the challenge, or are we going to allow ourselves to go down in defeat? Are we going to pray humbly and honestly, or are we going to continue our pitiful puttering? Are we going to confess our sins and our failures, or are we going to cling tenaciously to our carnal pride and ability and seek to solve our problems outside of God’s prescriptions?
My prayer is that God may breathe upon us today and help us to see that what is needed is a confession and forsaking of sin, a thorough humbling and sincere seeking before God, and a passion for the souls of men that the Holy Spirit alone can give.
Fasting and prayer, real brokenness and humiliation of heart before God – are the great needs of the hour. If the people who profess to know God would give themselves to real praying with sincere earnestness, with heart searchings, and with agonizing supplications, we soon would see the desired results. God is waiting for a people who will accept His remedy, and when this is accepted, He will move in upon the scene.
Adapted from an earlier issue of Herald of His Coming.