Scripture makes it very clear that one of the primary responsibilities for watchmen is prayer: “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isa. 62:6-7).
To those confused or somehow turned off by the reference to Jerusalem, remember that we must always be careful to discern biblical usage. Jerusalem is an actual city with great significance, both in the past and, I believe, today. But it also used biblically to refer to the purposes of God in coming to dwell in the midst of His people (see Rev. 21:3). Isaiah is clearly calling the Lord’s people to pray with intense, unending effort until the purposes of God are accomplished!
The prayer movement that God is birthing in this nation and others is of the Isaiah 62 type. We are no longer praying just “fix-it” prayers that make our life better but prayers that grab the attention of heaven because they are prayed over issues clearly on the heart of God. Not simply a few added lines to a “quiet time,” Isaiah writes of extraordinary prayer that is day and night and doesn’t stop until God’s purposes are accomplished.
As the Church watches and prays, we will increasingly be made aware of the dangers, both spiritual and physical, that are coming upon our land. That awareness will cause us to take up the trumpet. Blowing the trumpet is a picture of warning people of danger. Look at some of the Old Testament passages that speak of this task:
- “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the descendants of Jacob their sins” (Isa. 58:1).
- “Put the trumpet to your lips! An eagle is over the house of the Lord because the people have broken my covenant and rebelled against my law” (Hos. 8:1).
- “Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly” (Joel 2:15).
- “When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it” (Amos 3:6)?
Many readers will look at these passages in frustration, realizing they do not have the means or voice to warn a nation. But you can give warning where you are. You can speak to those in your sphere of influence about what you are seeing and what you believe the Lord is saying in our nation. It might be quiet conversations with neighbors or posts online to those who you know and care about. Giving warning of coming danger does not always mean standing in the street and shouting. For most of us, it is lovingly letting others know what you believe is happening and how to prepare for that spiritually and maybe even physically.
Father, You call us to faithfulness rather than comfort. Even though it is an uncomfortable thing to “blow the trumpet” to warn others of danger, I know that You are faithful in all things and will go before me. May I not be afraid to listen to Your voice and discern the times we are currently in. May I step out in faith to lovingly share whatever You show me as I seek Your face.
–adapted from With One Cry: A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America by David Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Glorify the Lord, who is gracious, full of compassion, and gentle with the weak (Ps. 116:5). Thank God for rescuing you during those times when you needed his help, even when you didn’t ask for it (116:8). Confess the times when you have been impatient with others in need. Commit yourself to remembering throughout this day God’s compassion for you and to reflecting that compassion to others. Ask God to help you fulfill this vow.
Ask God to make the congregations in your community centers of kindness, where those in need will find the hands of Jesus ministering to them.
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