How often do you gripe about high taxes, stupid laws and bad politicians? It is incredibly easy to become discouraged about the direction our country is heading. And when you are discouraged, it's even easier to start blaming and complaining.
But why is it that we are so quick to complain and so slow to pray?
Whether we feel it is justified or not, all our complaining and grumbling ends in is anger, bitterness and discontentment. Any parent understands that complaining isn’t simply unproductive- it is counter productive. Yet it comes so naturally when things don’t work out the way we want them to.
Most Americans claim belief in God, but as a whole, we just aren’t that into prayer. But if we really believed in God, if we really believed in His goodness and His power, wouldn’t prayer be a top priority?
Hosea 7:14 says, “They do not cry to me from the heart, but they wail upon their beds.”
What a powerful image. We are so quick to complain- to wail upon our beds- and so slow to take our complaints to the God who has the resources and ability to fix what is broken.
President Abraham Lincoln eloquently explained the American sentiment toward prayer:
We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
Yet, awesome things happen when we do unite to pray. Consider two powerful examples:
- In 1775, the Continental Congress requested that the colonies pray to God for guidance. Soon after, our great country was formed.
- In 1863, after the Union army lost to the Confederate forces at the Battle of Bull Run, when the nation was on the verge of complete destruction, President Abraham Lincoln declared a National Day of Prayer and Fasting. He asked all Americans to take part in the time-tested strategy, appealing to the God of the angel armies, and it saved the country.
In his proclamation appointing the prayer day, President Lincoln eloquently summarized why it is so crucial that we pray for our nation.