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Intersection of Life and Faith

Praying and Fasting for America

  • John Stonestreet BreakPoint
  • 2012 9 Sep
  • COMMENTS
Praying and Fasting for America

It’s not often I get to hang out with my BreakPoint co-host Eric Metaxas. He lives in the Egypt of New York City, and I live in the promised land of Colorado. But I do love it whenever we get together. His passion to see Christians shape and renew the culture by living out their faith in every area of life is infectious, and something that I share.

But last week, we were both part of an event that reminded us of the important role prayer has played in our nation’s history.

During his talk, Eric asked the audience to join him in 40 days of prayer and fasting for our country. He shared with me afterwards that he just felt led to issue this challenge, something he’d never done before. So beginning September 27 — today — 40 days before these incredibly important elections, Eric will be praying and fasting that, as he said, God will “bless America for His purpose — so that we can be a blessing to the rest of the world.” And he’s asking Christians to join.

Well, I confess that during this event I was struck with how important prayer is too, and how rarely we employ it. So I’m joining him, and you can, too. Go to Eric’s website, EricMetaxas.com. He has a link there to a Facebook page he’s created. And let him know that you’re praying too!

Let me tell you why this is so important as we approach this election. Many of us have fallen for what Chuck Colson called “the political illusion.”

What is the political illusion? Chuck put it this way: “[T]he political illusion is the notion that human nature can be perfected by government; that a new Jerusalem, so to speak, can be built using the tools of politics; and that politics is all that matters.”

He went on to say that, “the enormous destruction wrought by the utopian "isms" of the 20th century — like socialism, communism, fascism, and Nazism — should have disabused us of this political illusion. But today people are turning once again to government to solve our problems.”

Chuck was absolutely right. And we Christians are not immune to Utopian political thinking either. How many of us are thinking, “Well, if we get rid of this candidate, or vote our guy in, things will be okay. If we overturn Obamacare or hold back the rising tide of so-called gay ‘marriage,’ the country will be saved.”

But God gives us no such guarantee. While God does indeed work through His people, even in the political process, He is the God and author of history. And He’s given us prayer to align us with His purpose. His gift of repentance reminds us that the problem isn’t always them, it’s also us.

That’s why I’m so thankful for Eric’s reminder last week that as Christian citizens of America we need to be on our knees before God.

In 1798, President John Adams proclaimed a day of prayer and fasting at a time when the nation was facing a potentially devastating war with France. President Adams wrote that the “just judgments of God” are a “loud call to repentance and reformation,” He wrote that the “safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God.” And he wrote that prayer was our duty, and that prayer “is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety, without which social happiness cannot exist, nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed ...” And that is why President Adams called for a special day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer.

Folks, now is the time for prayer and fasting as well. Please go to EricMetaxas.com and let him know that you’re in.

And before I leave you today, I want to let you know that on today’s “Two-Minute Warning” video, I talk with Colson Center Chairman Timothy George about how we, as Christians, should approach our involvement in the upcoming elections. It’s fantastic advice; you don’t want to miss it. In fact, you’ll want to share it with others. Go to BreakPoint.org, click on this commentary, and we’ll link you to the "Two-Minute Warning."

As the host of The Point, a daily national radio program, John Stonestreet provides thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.

Publication date: September 27, 2012