Interceding for a Nation
(I’ve been waiting to see what class God has enrolled me in this year. Last year was the Year of Redeeming Prayer class, the year before, The Year of Selfless Prayer. I’ve had The Year of Standing, the Year of Jubilee, The Year of Walking, The Year of Living Shalom. . . . I am always amazed how God teaches me, grows me. Until this past weekend, I just hadn’t been able to put into words what I felt God was preparing to teach me about. Until Ukraine. 2022, for me, is The Year of Intercessory Prayer. He’s grown me away from selfish prayers to pray selflessly (not for my own comfort) to pray for the redemption of the Lost Lambs (not to make my life easier but that the lost may be found in order that they may have life and life abundantly). The Year of Intercessory Prayer sounds like overlap, but it has seemed like a call to someplace deeper, more costly, needing more courage and strength. I will know more by the end of 2022 where He is taking me in this journey. This weekend, I kept turning back to this post from 2012. As you read it, please think of Ukraine and Hong Kong).
Radical Christianity doesn’t intercede because sin is so ugly; Radical Christianity intercedes because it knows there is something beautiful to redeem beneath the sin.
Radical Christianity doesn’t beat the sin out; Radical Christianity loves the sin out.
Radical Christianity believes nothing is too big or too broken for our God to restore.
Radical Christianity doesn’t give lip-service to negative-Nancy platitudes; Radical Christianity speaks faith and hope words that empower to stand in the gap, interceding through the Holy Spirit.
Radical Christianity intercedes not just for our friends, our family, our church. Radical Christianity intercedes for our schools, our cities and our country (and other countries), regardless of political beliefs.
Reading the news for the past few months leaves me uncomfortable. Uncomfortable in a way I never imagined feeling in America. I’ve felt disquieted before – and have learned that disquieted feeling is a call to prayer, for intercession.
Abraham interceded boldly for Sodom. God has stopped by, talked with Abraham, told him of his plans for S&G. The Great I AM was going to see for himself it it was all true, to walk among the people before he destroyed the two cities.
“The men set out for Sodom, but Abraham stood in God’s path, blocking his way” (Genesis 18: 22).
If I’d been a by-stander, I think I would have stepped back – waiting for a lightning bolt or other smiting material. Abraham stood in God’s path – stood – as if Abraham could stop God.
But that’s the kind of relationship they had – they talked to each other, broke bread together, sat under the stars together – Abraham cooked for him.
. . . . and God didn’t smite him because Abraham dared approach the creator of the world so.
“Abraham confronted him, ‘Are you serious? Are you planning on getting rid of the good people right along with the bad? What if there are fifty decent people left in the city; will you lump the good with the bad and get rid of the lot? Wouldn’t you spare the city for the sake of those fifty innocents? I can’t believe you’d do that, kill off the good and the bad alike as if there were no difference between them. Doesn’t the Judge of all the Earth judge with justice?'”(Genesis 18: 23-25)
Abraham stood in God’s path and interceded – boldly – and God didn’t say, “How dare you talk to me that way.” Instead, God engaged, encouraged Abraham’s intercession.
I believe right now we need to be interceding the same way, going boldly to God just like Abraham. Jesus bore our sins and died for us so that we could come before God like Abraham. His death and resurrection grafted us into that family, those promises, that same relationship opportunity.
I believe there are many righteous men and women in our nation (and in nations around the world). I believe there is a heart for the great I Am .
Abraham didn’t say things like, “Yes, Sodom’s going to Hell in a hand-basket.” Instead, Abraham begged for Sodom, 50, 40, 30, 20, down to 10 faithful men (Genesis 18: 26-33). He interceded. He ASKED boldly, daringly. Abraham interceded with hope and faith, not finger pointing and sin cataloging. He didn’t bash Sodom as sin-city. Rather, he focused on the righteous man.
When I wrote much of this a few years ago, I asked you to intercede, to pray for our country, for God to move in our country, to save it – for the righteous men and women who pray with you, who minister to you in the grocery store, in the pulpit, in the blogahood – even the righteous boys and girls whom you have taught to pray, to walk in faith, to trust in the great I Am who says “I AM” able to save a country, yes – for even one righteous man.
Today I am asking again.
I do not doubt that we have 1, 50, 100, 1000, 10,000, 100,00 – even 1 million righteous men, women and children in our country. I don’t doubt that Ukraine had 1, 50, 100, 1000 righteous men women and children.
Let us become interceders for our country (and countries around the world) like Abraham was for Sodom. Right now, I think we have much hope. Abraham’s story tells us we do.
I pray that you wake up to a faith-filled morning, where God reminds that for 50 righteous, he would save a city
“Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
and if there weren’t 50 righteous, he would save a city for 45 righteous men and women:
Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.”
The great I AM, who created the universe, the intricacies of the reproduction system, amoebas, humor, tear ducts, love – He was willing to be talked down to finding only 40 righteous men out of an entire city.
Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.”
How much He must have wanted to save all those men, women and children – Even for only 30 righteous men and women would he save a city.
He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.”
For 20 righteous men and women, he would save an entire city.
Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it” (Genesis 18: 28-32)
Even for as little as 10 – and He filled me with hope – because our country still has righteous men and women who love the Lord our God with all their hearts and minds and souls.
Abraham didn’t talk God down to “if there were just one righteous man” – maybe he thought he was asking too much, had pushed God too far.
Sometimes we decide what God will do before we even ask. Sometimes fear stops us from saying what we really want to ask.
Abraham didn’t ask if he would save a city for one righteous man. He stopped at 10.
But God was willing to save a city – even one righteous man – just one. Are you willing to ask – to believe – be the one when others fail?
“Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city”(Jeremiah 5:1)
Are you willing to stand in the gap on behalf of our country, to build up a protective wall of faith?
“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none” (Ezekiel 22:30)
50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 1 – don’t despair – for even one faithful man, He would save a city, a country.
Today, let us love the Lord with all our hearts, our souls and our minds – and let us intercede for our nation.
Amen and not just for one nation; but for all. Have mercy oh! Lord. We need You desperately. Your word says that You are a very present help in time of need and that we are to confess our faults one to another, and pray one for another, that we may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. That time is upon us. We always need you. In times of plenty. In times of suffering. Nothing is difficult for Thee.
Amen to your prayer, Liana – Nothing is too difficult for our God who wants to save us!
This is gorgeous and hopeful. I’ll stand with you in prayer.
Thank you, Lisha!So glad to be standing together!
GREAT post…. if there was ever a time that our nation needed intercession, it is now…. the evil is becoming more open and forceful…. but God is not taken by surprise. He still has a plan…. He can still change the hearts of men and women… He can give us the grace to walk faithfully with Him as things get harder and harder…. and He can unite us into a nation that turns from their sin and turns wholeheartedly to God. Thank you.
Maryleigh, thanks. For this is a prompt, ever so gently strong, that I needed to hear.
And respond to.
Oh friend, that line between complacency and stepping into the full oneness of relationship with our heavenly Father, through intercession. That shaking the heavens, hearing from the Lord of all creation, embracing our birthright to..as Christ did, that we too might do likewise! Have a blessed weekend friend!
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Thank you for this call to prayer, my most difficult of ALL the spiritual disciplines. Intercessory prayer is the “my life for yours” that happens in unseen places.
Yes! And I think it will reorder my days to go to those unseen places and bring a different kind of discipline. I am leaning in to this new year with expectation of what He is going to teach me – and when He teaches me, change comes!
Yes, may we be praying for the world as we are in such perilous times. May we pray not only for the protection of Ukraine, but for leaders to make the right choices, standing up for what is just.
Praying with you!
Ukraine is 90% Christian, so part of our calling to pray for them is because they are our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Pray for my friend Galya, she and her family and the orphans she ministers to are trying to leave today. They are driving right now.
Praying, Lisa, that your friend, family and orphans are hedged on every side of them in their journey, that they feel the angels of the Lord encamped about them, and that the faith of all they encounter testify to the Glory of God!
I stand with you in prayer. Thank you for this beautiful post. My heart breaks for the Ukrainian people. May they feel God’s strength and comfort.
Praying with you that the mighty favor of God rests on his children!
Just one righteous one, Lord…just one. In Ukraine, in the United States…JUST ONE! Lord, hear my prayer.
Amen, my friend!
Well said Maryleigh!
I have been praying for the Ukraine too it has disturbed me greatly, as did the situation in Hong Kong & other parts of the world that are being bullied.
Also praying for the brave protesters in Russia who are against this tyranny as they are being imprisoned for their stand.
Praying with you, Jennifer!
I have been praying like crazy for Ukraine and am publishing a prayer for them tomorrow.
I will stop by for your prayer, Lauren! Praying God intercede mightily!
I’ve been praying ever since I heard of the invasion–for the people, for world leaders, even for Putin. May our relationship with God be such that we feel boldly confident standing before God and praying for big things.
Amen, I too have been in intercessory prayer with you.
Continued prayers my friend. I don’t understand the politics of it all – I just see the hurt and it breaks my heart! ~ Maryleigh