President Donald Trump issued a proclamation for this Sunday to be the National Day of Prayer for Hurricane Harvey victims. He called upon all Americans and all houses of worship to unite in prayer to God for the nation and to assist those suffering from the consequences of the storm.
Even though this is a welcome step in the right direction that we acknowledge God and the significance of prayer, it is important to know that God has outlined certain conditions in order for our prayers to be answered. The reason for mentioning these condition is because many leading Evangelical Christians were trying to turn Hurricane Harvey away from Texas through the power of prayer and failed.
Christians were already praying to stop the flood from coming and those prayers weren’t answered. They “commanded” Hurricane Harvey to dissipate in the “name of Jesus.” What actually happened was that Hurricane Harvey only intensified and created the greatest natural disaster in the history of the United States.
Here is what we are missing from our prayers and they reson why they are not being answered:
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Corinthians 7:14.
The answers for our national days of prayer will only come when our prayers are followed by national repentance and reformation. Prayers need to be followed up with the confession of sin and a turning away from wickedness. This is what God requires.
“He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13.
God requires of those who have dishonored His name by their iniquity, that they accept the punishment of their iniquity by these national disasters and humble themselves under his hand. Then they must pray for the removal of the judgment by seeking His face and favor: and yet all this will not be sufficient unless they turn from their wicked ways and return to Him from whom they have grieved.
“Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55: 6, 7.
National mercy is then promised, “Then will I hear from heaven.” God will first forgive our sins which brought the judgment upon us, then He will heal our land and then He will heal all of our suffering.
“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to them that turn from transgression in Jacob, said the LORD.” Isaiah 59:20.
“Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.” Ezekiel 18:27, 28.
But are we turning away from iniquity and transgressions while America is still addicted to sex, money, pleasure, pornography, drugs, alcohol, revelry, gambling, violence and greed?
Are we turning away from wickedness when we continue to reject God’s standard of morality and family values? Are we repenting in America when we still perform around 3,000 abortions per day?
How are we repenting when we continue to deny our Judeo-Christian heritage and culture? We have succumbed to a humanistic and atheistic system of values that is multicultural and pluralistic, where everything is permissible. We are still legalizing sin and lawlessness still reigns in the hearts and minds of our people.
We need to pray, but we have to work in harmony with our prayers and bring forth fruits worthy of repentance. Why? Because more hurricanes are coming, more fires will continue to consume lives and properties, more floods will continue to bring destruction and desolation and more international, political and social conflicts will continue to plague both our nation and our world.