As the Fourth of July Weekend begins, we'll do many things to celebrate America's 240th birthday. We'll hang flags from our houses, some will go to patriotic concerts or fireworks displays. We'll have barbecues, go camping, spend time at the beach, there's so much we can do on a holiday weekend. But none of those activities will make America any better next Tuesday than she was before the weekend began.
Let me suggest that if you love America, do something this weekend that will make America better: pray for America. When Solomon dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem (described in 2 Chronicles 7) God said - when times are tough in Israel, call my people together to pray. "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land." (v. 14)
We are facing tough times in America today. Our nation is divided politically, economically, and racially. The upcoming election will divide us further. The United States has been the victim of several terrorist attacks and we may have to send our troops back into harms way to end the threat. In California we're in the midst of a terrible drought, and as a result we may have catastrophic fires this summer. When it comes to faith, people are turning from God and leaving the church, resulting in a cultural morality that does not reflect the righteousness of God.
So if you want to do something this weekend that will make America better, let's call on the Lord to help our nation. God has the power to change America. Who will pray if it is not God's people who are called by his name (Christians). It's time for us to humble ourselves and admit that there are big problems our country faces that cannot be resolved apart from a new reliance on God. We must confess our sins and ask God to forgive us for the mistakes we've made. Not everyone will pray. Not everyone will agree that God is the answer to our problems. But if the 100 million Americans, who call themselves Christians, would humble themselves and pray for our nation this weekend, I believe we will see God work in amazing ways.
This Sunday, come worship with us as we "Pray for America." 2 Chronicles 7 is our Scripture text. We'll learn how God wants us to pray for America. We'll have several people in our congregation model how to pray. All of us, in the context of the worship service will have opportunities to pray for America. So join us for worship at 9:00 a.m. (Traditional Worship) or at 10:45 a.m. (Contemporary Worship) and let's "Pray for America."