It is more difficult in many ways to pray about how Satan attacks the people of God from within our own nation. It is an emotional issue and sometimes very difficult to discern exactly what is happening. The dangers emerge from governmental control issues as well as cultural shifts. Remember, Satan is very adept at maneuvering into control of human government and then turning it into a tool of his own purposes. He has done this for thousands of years in countless nations.
Our very wise founding fathers were very aware of the potential despotic nature of any government and set up as many checks and balances as they could for the protection of the liberties they held dear. They also, though, saw the need for the people themselves to be of a moral nature if this great experiment was to work. President John Adams wrote in his Oct 11, 1798 address to the military: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Fifty years later, Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847-49 wrote: “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or the bayonet.”
It is at this point that the battle for the soul of our culture intersects with the battle for the nature and extent of our government. For almost 100 years, we have seen the shift in the U.S. from widespread acceptance of the Bible as the source of truth to a nation who, by and large, has no standard for truth other than the latest poll. Though men have always done wrong things, they still have recognized what was right. Today, the very issue of there being a right or wrong is debated.
Our universities, school systems, media, arts, and even to a certain extent, the Church have been impacted by this relativistic worldview that dismisses biblical truth and standards. Over the years that has made its way into our government, including the courts. No longer do courts or legislators look to the Bible for guidance. The result of this is a government that increasingly adapts itself to the desires of its people to be taken care of. “Protect us, provide for us, meet all our needs,” seems to be the message of America to its government and any government will be glad to be obliging, for with this role comes great power.
With the accuracy of hindsight, we can see how the Church allowed this to happen. All too many Bible-believing Christians developed a protective, insulating mindset that caused them to withdraw from the greater cultural influencers such as universities, arts, media, and even government.
Abandoned by the faithful Church, those influencers developed without the transforming power of the truth of Scripture and have produced generations who no longer believe in absolute truth. Certainly, there were Christians who stayed in those places of influence, but their numbers were insufficient.
Jesus spoke of Satan’s disregard for truth in John 8:44, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” When a culture denies the very existence of truth, you are watching a culture that is being influenced by Satan.
Prayer for truth is a powerful warfare prayer. Praying for truth in our halls of justice, in the halls of Congress, in the White House, in the media, and in our culture is doing battle on behalf of the Lord. Asking the Lord to reveal truth causes the father of lies, the devil, to flee. The devil cannot bear truth. He knows that “the truth will set you free.”
It is time for a militant Church to stand up in prayer and fight for truth. That will involve praying for those brothers and sisters who are contending for truth on university campuses, school campuses, in Hollywood and in the media, as well as those in government. This is a call to a different sort of prayer. Yes, we can continue to ask for our own needs, but we must shift our focus to our Commander in Chief in Heaven. From Him we receive our prayer orders and begin to pray His truth and His Word over our nation.
Heavenly Father, help me to love Your truth more than I love my own situation and comfort. Give me a deep desire to pray passionately each day for a tsunami of truth to overwhelm every part of American culture.
–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.
Praise God for being the God of “burning bushes,” calling you to respond and serve where he leads (Ex. 3:2). Thank God for revealing to you his call to service, and for your affirming response. Confess your deafness, blindness, hardheartedness, and excuses that keep you from hearing and responding to God’s call (3:6, 11, 13). Commit yourself to being aware of God’s presence every day and listening to his call to service, no matter how humbling that service may be. Ask him to give you a positive attitude in carrying out his call.
Pray that you be hospitable, loving what is good, self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined, holding firmly to the truth (Titus 1:8), thus growing God’s kingdom on the inside.
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