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Turning the Tide
Charles F. Stanley
Pray about the Issues We Face
Part 4 of “Turning the Tide” is titled “The Pathway to Real Change”, and it begins with chapter 13, and its title is “Pray about the Issues we Face”. In our times of weakness and despair we are able to rely on God through Christ. This is promised by the Father in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14: “If…my people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land”. Stanley writes of a time he asked his ministry to pray on behalf of the U.S. for 20 weeks.
The first week begins with “personal preparation”, we must first pray for repentance before asking God for anything else. Stanley writes how “spiritual awakening in our land begin with you and all of us as believers—the church of Jesus Christ.” With our repentance comes God’s acceptance, because we have accepted Christ and His ways we can now embody righteousness. In week 2 we begin to focus on “God’s ability to help us”, after repenting a Christian can begin depending on the Heavenly Father. Through God nothing is impossible; He is able to overcome any challenge or obstacle. Week 3 brings us to “the church’s recognition of its responsibility”. There’s a saying that goes, “With great power comes great responsibility”, a statement made by Voltaire a well known French philosopher. This saying can relate to Christians and our responsibility of saving others. Stanley states how we must pray that “the Body of Christ will recognize its own sinfulness and responsibility before the Lord and respond to Him in obedience. The third week coincides with the fourth except for praying this approach for the country instead of the church. Stanley tells us how we must ask God to “open the eyes of Americans to the need for His intervention in our country.” As we go into the second month there’s a continuation of national prayer.
In week 5 we are to continue praying for a “revival and spiritual awakening” of our nation. As the church begins to act upon their responsibility to God we can influence others to do the same. Week 6 begins the prayer for “God’s intervention to turn the tide”. Psalm 32:6 says: “Let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.” At this time we must ask ourselves if we have really gotten right with God, our obedience will allow God to intervene as just as He promises. In week 7 we are asked to pray for the “financial crisis”, in week 8 we are asked to focus on the issue of “increasing taxation”. Week 9 then focuses on “increasing unemployment, these three issues are extremely important due to the fact that it focuses on finance. A Christian’s duty is to spread the gospel, by helping those in need we are able to meet both their physical and spiritual needs. Without meeting the physical necessities of an individual how can we reach them spiritually? Stanley writes how the U.S. “fund 85 percent of the world’s missions”, with that being said a great number of people around the world may never hear the gospel if these missions were to stop.
Going into week 10 we pray on “the rapid erosion of our liberties”, then in week 11 we pray on “confusion and corruption”. These two topics go hand in hand; because of “confusion and corruption” American citizens are losing their liberties. Stanley explains how there are “individuals both here and abroad who are actively working to erode our liberties so they can take control of this nation.” The U.S. allows much freedom to its citizens because of this we have individuals who either want to manipulate it for personal gain, or take our freedom as a whole (also for personal gain).
Entering week 12 we begin to pray on the war against Jesus. There are many who don’t understand what Christ had “accomplished on the cross”. Stanley explains how “Satan has convinced them of the lie that Jesus wants to remove their freedom.” As Christians we must pray that God reveals himself to these individuals. Week 13 changes its focus specifically for “protection against terrorism and ask that Muslims throughout the world will come to know Jesus as their Savior.” This issue is difficult because we are dealing with religion instead of diplomacy. Between foreign threats and homegrown cells it is hard to predict another attack so we must pray for these individuals to find Jesus Christ. In week 14 we are asked to pray for God to “protect Israel, for the United States to continue to be her most faithful ally, for Jews worldwide to be saved, and for her enemies to receive salvation through Jesus Christ”, as Stanley writes. It is important that the U.S. remembers God’s covenant with Israel and continue to help. There must also be prayer for Israel’s enemies and their acceptance of the Word.
The focus of week 15 is “reaffirming our nation’s Christian heritage”. In the words of Stanley, “let us pray that our leaders will go back to the basics-affirming our Christian heritage and seeking biblical principles by which to govern our nation.” This statement leads us to week 16 where we pray on “the practice of killing the unborn will end and that all affected by it will find forgiveness and redemption through Jesus Christ”, as Stanley writes. Abortion has been a well debated issue over the past two decades, there must be a righteous view of this subject amongst a higher number of Christians. “The biblical view of marriage” is the prayer topic for week 17. Marriage isn’t as honored and respected as it once was; because of this many families are broken. Natural disasters is the prayer focus of week 18, Stanley asks that we “pray for protection from natural disasters and for believers and churches to take every opportunity to minister to those who experience them.” God will protect us and comfort us in these situations, though we suffer terrible loss due to natural disasters, this is also a time where we as Christians show God’s comfort.
In week 19 we are asked to “pray for our nation to be an example of Christian values to other countries, and pray for spiritual awakening and revival around the world”. The United States remains arguably the most influential country in the world. If we demonstrate stronger faith to the rest of the world then other countries will follow, the power of God cannot be denied. Week 20 we are asked to praise God and what He will do for the country. If we gather together and “Pray about the Issues We Face” holding fast to our faith, we can begin “Turning the Tide” of our nation.
1. What do you need to do to prepare your heart before coming to the Father on behalf of others?
2. What might God be calling you to do in order to shine His light to others? Are you ready and willing to accept His call?