I’m not giving up on this country. Here are my prayer points for a national revival.
Many Christians today are deeply discouraged about the condition of our country. I can understand the concern: We are divided politically, stagnant economically and failing morally—and weird weather patterns, gun violence and global financial fears have darkened the gloom. Some people have thrown up their hands and prayed, “Lord, rapture us out of here!”
But I’m not ready to bail out, and I don’t think God is wringing His hands over Europe’s bank crisis, Obama’s health care plan or the ongoing drought in the Midwest. I’m not ignoring the seriousness of our dilemma, but losing hope is not the solution. God’s plan under the New Covenant is redemption, not judgment. He invites us to agree with Him for that miracle—and when He answers by fire from heaven, America could be changed in a day.
So instead of fretting about the devil’s strategies, heading for the hills or condemning America to hell, I’m praying for a miracle of grace. Several big miracles, in fact. Here is my short list of prayer goals. I invite you to agree with these requests. Please add more of your own.
1. Spiritual awakening on college campuses. Today’s younger generation is biblically illiterate, spiritually clueless, largely fatherless, saturated in porn and skeptical of church and most TV preachers. That’s a bleak scenario, but my Bible says “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom. 5:20, NASB). When the hippies of the 1960s embraced drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll, God unleashed the Jesus Movement—and it marked a generation for Christ. He can do it again. I’m praying that this time it will also touch the 720,000 international students on U.S. campuses today.
2. Transformation of our inner cities. Some urban neighborhoods in the U.S. resemble bombed-out cities in the Third World. The devil thinks he owns these places, but God is empowering Nehemiahs to reclaim and rebuild the ruins. I expect this miracle to happen largely through African-American and Hispanic churches, especially those that have renounced legalistic religiosity. I’m expecting to hear good things out of Detroit, Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston and Baltimore, to name a few.
3. Supernatural visitation among Native Americans. They were the first residents of this land, but today they are the least evangelized. Evangelism efforts backfired in the past because of prejudice and insensitivity. But God longs to reveal His Father’s love to the Native community. I expect a wave of revival to sweep from Native believers in northern Alaska to reservations in Oklahoma to urban centers like Denver, Phoenix and Santa Fe, N.M.
4. A wave of repentance among Christian men. So many churchgoing men today are bound by regret, sexual sin, fatherlessness and the shame of divorce. But God has promised to restore the hearts of fathers to their children and children to fathers (see Mal. 4:6). Any genuine revival will be accompanied by widespread restoration of families. And as fathers are restored, they will be equipped to be mentors to a broken generation.
5. Another Pentecostal outpouring among Roman Catholics. In the late 1960s, an unexpected “God moment” at a Catholic college in Pittsburgh sparked a worldwide movement that brought millions of Catholics into the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The fires of that awakening have died out, but God can do it again. I hope you love Catholics enough to pray for that.
6. An unleashing of courage and compassion among Christian women. The biblical story of Deborah teaches that when times get tough, God often raises up brave women to meet the challenge. This has happened before in American history, when women affiliated with the Holiness Movement in the early 1900s challenged rampant alcoholism in order to protect families. In this decade I expect to see the greatest mobilization of women in history—both to fight social injustice at home and also to engage in aggressive mission work overseas.
7. Revitalization of American denominations. I believe God has been quietly working in Pentecostal and evangelical church networks to release a new passion to fulfill the Great Commission. Visionary leaders are scrapping the dead traditions of the past and forming new wineskins. Tired and ineffective programs are being eliminated, and denominations are becoming leaner and more fruitful. The result will be one of the greatest seasons of church planting in American history.
8. A Holy Spirit visitation inside the U.S. military. The threat of international terrorism is real, and evil forces are more aggressive. That’s why I’ve been asking God to mercifully touch all branches of our armed forces. We need people of faith on the front lines. We need generals who pray and soldiers who fear God. Arguments about separation of church and state seem silly when nuclear bombs are being aimed at us. We need leaders like Hezekiah, who put his faith in God when foreign armies attacked.
God told a backslidden Israel: "'For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,' says the Lord your Redeemer" (Is. 54:7-8). Our nation is caught in a great spiritual struggle, but the Lord has plans for our redemption. Please don’t lose hope. Stop cursing the darkness and pray instead.