General George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, proclaimed a day of "fasting, humiliation and prayer" for May 6, 1779. He then ordered a one-day cessation of recreation and "unnecessary labor" so that his soldiers could observe the day.
236 years later, his proclamation is being answered for America by Christians in Australia.
Lana Vawser, an Australian Christian, explains: "There is a fight for the destiny of the USA right now. The destiny of America hangs in the balance. The Lord is calling His people to arise and pray for the United States of America. It is time to contend."
Alison Jessup explains: "We in Australia believe it is our turn to bless the nation of America and pray for healing for the USA through prayer and fasting according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. We in Australia are grateful for the protection that America gave Australia and the nations of the free world during World War II. The 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea, led by the USA, was the turning point in the Second World War for Australia."
Matt Prater adds: "We are calling the nations of the world to join in prayer and fasting with our brothers and sisters in Christ in the USA. Last year we had people from over 40 nations join with us. This year we are believing for over 100 nations to join us in prayer and fasting for the USA."
Australians have been praying and fasting for Americans from April 30 to today. They are not the only believers interceding for the U.S. in these challenging days. I know of many Cuban Christians who pray daily for spiritual awakening in America. One congregation has painted a world map on its back wall above a prayer altar; its members take turns 24-7 praying for the nations and for the U.S.
Why is such intercession effective? Prayer does not inform an omniscient God, persuade an all-loving Father, or compel an omnipotent Lord. Rather, God honors the freedom he has given us, so that prayer is necessary to receive what his grace intends to give. (Tweet this)
But what is the logic of praying for someone else, or in this case, for any entire nation? If God honors their freedom, he will not violate it even to answer our prayers on their behalf. However, he will do everything short of forcing his will on them. He will bring Christians into their lives and use their words and witness. His Spirit will convict them of their sins and need for repentance and salvation. He will use and even engineer circumstances for his Kingdom purposes. As Jesus is interceding for us now (Romans 8:34), so he calls us to join him in intercession for our nation.
A. W. Tozer warned that "the creeping wilderness will soon take over that church that trusts in its own strength and forgets to watch and pray." The same is true of a country. Let's give thanks for Christians in Australia and other nations who are praying for Americans. And let's join their intercession, to the glory of God.
Publication date: May 6, 2015
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