As all Christian
Americans were called to prayer by Texas Governor Rick Perry, there was no
doubt that as a nation we needed to bow down to the Lord, repent, ask
forgiveness and seek mercy.
Houston, Texas, August 7, 2011. By Joel C.
"WE NEED ANOTHER
The year was
1940. The moment was one of the darkest in the history of the English
people. More than 300,000 British troops suddenly found themselves pinned
down in northern France. Nazi forces were bearing down on them. The Brits
didn't have enough ammunition or supplies. At any moment, Hitler's forces
would launch a ferocious attack. The Brits faced imminent annihilation.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his advisors thought at best the navy
could rescue 20,000 to 30,000 before it was too late. Others feared even
that might not be possible. And the stakes couldn't have been higher. If so
many forces were wiped out, Hitler and the Nazis would invade the British
Isles -- and win.
So the King of
England called for a national day of prayer. That Sunday, an estimated 70
percent of the British people showed up at churches all over the country.
They begged for the Lord's mercy on their fathers and sons, and for their
national survival. And the Lord heard those heartfelt prayers and responded
with what became known as "the miracle at Dunkirk." Hitler inexplicably
delayed giving his generals the order to finish off the Brits. A great storm
over Germany prevented Nazi planes from being able to take off. The British
people quickly assembled some 900 fishing boats, yachts, trawlers, and other
private and government vessels, and began ferrying the troops of the French
beaches and back to England a few at a time. By the grace of God, nearly a
third of a million souls were saved as a result, as was the British nation.
another Dunkirk," said Dr. James Dobson at Saturday's national day of prayer
in Houston as he recounted the famous story and called American Christians
to devote themselves to prayer and fasting. "God answers prayer." He is
encouraging day during such a discouraging week. Against the backdrop of a
severe financial crisis and near-crippling political gridlock in Washington,
the S&P's first-ever downgrade of American debt, the increasing prospect of
a double-dip recession, and the terrible tragedy of the murder of 30
American special forces heroes in Afghanistan -- including operators from
the Navy's SEAL Team Six -- more than 30,000 Americans gathered peaceably
here yesterday to pray for the Lord to have mercy on our country. They
joined together with evangelical Christians gathered at some 1,300 satellite
viewing locations in all 50 states. They implored the Lord to spare us from
the judgment our many sins deserve. They pleaded with the Lord to pour out
His Holy Spirit and give us a Third Spiritual Awakening. They chose, too, to
pray for the Lord to bless the State of Israel and the Jewish people, and
prayed faithfully and passionately for the peace of Jerusalem.
was no ordinary prayer meeting. Personally, I've never been to anything like
it, and I was blessed by every minute of it. There were no political
speeches. No entrance fees. No offering. No fund-raising appeal. No
merchandise sold. No light show. No entertainment of any kind. This was
simply seven straight hours of prayer and fasting, heartfelt contrition and
repentance, Bible reading from the Book of Joel and many other Scriptures,
and wonderful worship - both modern praise songs and beloved hymns - with
every generation represented along with so many races and ethnic
backgrounds. Let's do more of this.
evangelicals were critical of "The Response." They urged people not to
attend because they have serious and fundamental theological differences
with some of those involved in the event. A few emailed me and urged me not
to participate. I heard those concerns and I have strong disagreements with
some of the participants, too. But the truth is the vast majority of
organizers and participants of this prayer meeting were theologically,
morally and ethically solid evangelical, Bible believing followers of Jesus
Christ. They included some trusted friends and allies that I have worked
with over the years like Dr. James Dobson and Shirley Dobson, Vonette Bright
of Campus Crusade for Christ, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council,
Pastor Greg Matte of Houston's First Baptist, Penny Nance of Concerned Women
for America, Don Wildmon of the American Family Association, among others.
Such men and
women see the grave crises facing our country. They believe and faithfully
teach that the Bible offers the only answers. Together with the governor of
an important state, they called the country to pray based on the Scriptures.
And many -- including the media -- paid attention. How often does that
happen? How often do government leaders stand with believers and call
meetings for prayer and fasting for the rescue of America and the blessing
of Israel based on the Lord's commands in the Book of Joel? How often do
30,000 American believers gather not for entertainment but simply to fast,
pray and worship all day long?
feared the event was going to be political. But it wasn't. Yes, some feared
what would be said or done would be theologically off base. But it wasn't. I
know because I was there. I wish even more had been there, too. We need more
pastors and ministry leaders to teach and follow the Book of Joel, not
fewer. We need more officials to call for prayer and fasting and to be
encouraged for doing so, not fewer.
I'm grateful to
Texas Governor Rick Perry for helping call for this event to take place, for
encourging people from all over the country to participate, for standing his
ground against intense liberal and atheist opposition and even a federal
lawsuit (which was dismissed), and for speaking and praying at the event
despite many calls for him not to do so. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback
deserves credit for coming and speaking, as does Florida Governor Rick Scott
for participating by video, and Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) for attending in
person, as well.
Bill Wilson comment:
We are a nation where not
only its people, but some aspects of the Church have strayed far from God's
Word. Jeremiah 18:15 says, "Because my people hath forgotten me, they have
burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways
from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up."
This is as we have
become, like Israel who strayed from the Lord, from our first love. And the
Lord said in Ezekiel 22:30, "And I sought for a man among them, that should
make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I
should not destroy it: but I found none."
Saturday, there were far more than 30,000 -- in the stadium, in homes, in
churches--standing in the gap. -