I believe in the power of prayer. I believe it enough to spend a significant amount of time each day praying for various people I have never met, various people I have met, family members, political situations, etc. I believe that our futures depend on our willingness to seek God with all our hearts and to come before Him daily with our petitions.
To make my life more efficient I have organized my prayers into categories and set aside a special time for each category. For instance, while I drive to work each morning I pray for my family members. It is about a twenty-five minute commute, and I make it alone with no radio or music to distract me. I pray aloud—I am sure that the people in the other cars think that I am talking to myself, but I pay them no attention. I am completely focused on praying for each child by name and each in-law by name. I then pray for each grandchild by name. With a family as large as mine, that takes some time.
Each day I also pray for our nation. I pray for men and women of God to be elected to office, and I pray that they will be strong and do exactly what God put them there to do. I pray for Jim DeMint, the Senator from South Carolina who recently resigned his office in order to take over the presidency of the Heritage Foundation in April of this year. I pray that God will show him exactly what to do and how to do it. I pray that he will be bold and uncompromising.
In addition to praying for our nation’s political situation, I also pray for revival. At first I believed that it would be better to separate these two prayer categories so that I could pray for the political situation at one time of day and pray for revival at another. However, when attempting this I discovered that it is not possible to separate the two. As I have spent more and more time in prayer, I have become more and more convinced that without revival we can never improve our political situation.
As the result of hours of prayer for our nation, I have come to believe that none of the problems we face will ever be solved unless we become a nation of prayer warriors. A better economy, more jobs, lower gas prices, and safer schools are not going to exist unless we as a nation turn to Jesus Christ. And, the truth is, even if it were possible to bring about these changes without revival, we would simply be exchanging one godless system for another.
People frequently tell me that things are worse now than they have ever been in this country. They allege that we are more promiscuous, more drugged, more liberal and less patriotic than at any other time in history. I know that this is not true because I lived through the sixties. In fact, in August of 1969 when the three days of debauchery known as Woodstock occurred, I had just turned twenty-four. I was exactly the right age to buy into the notion that Woodstock was “three days of peace and music” but I didn’t. In spite of the endorsements of the most respected educators and medical professionals, I also didn’t buy into the propaganda that marijuana and LSD were “good” for you and would help you discover your inner self and find God. Likewise, I rejected the slogan of the day that proclaimed “God is Dead!” and I never thought for one minute that Jesus was actually a homosexual hippie who hung out with his posse and just wanted everyone to be free to live however they chose.
But something else happened in 1969 that changed this nation and the world. Revival broke out and burned across this country like a raging fire. Pictures of long-haired boys and girls wearing the unmistakable hippie fashions of the day, holding their hands above their heads and praising God began to pop up everywhere. These godless, misguided young people who had spent months—and sometimes years—taking drugs and having sex with whoever happened along suddenly began to find Jesus. Of course, not all of them stayed with their new-found faith, but many did. Those former hippies now make up a very large segment of Christians in America. They are now sixty something, but they still serve Jesus, and they know that the Gospel is true because they have experienced Grace and have known the presence of Jesus Christ in their lives.
If we had not had revival in the late sixties and early seventies, I do not believe that we would have survived as a nation. We were poised to fall when God sent His Holy Spirit to burn across this land and bring that generation of young people to His saving Grace. I have seen this with my own eyes, and I know that it is true.
If we are to survive the current attack on our liberty, we must turn from our sins and come to Him who alone can save us. We must have revival because you just can’t separate the two.
When you pray for your nation, remember to pray for revival. We cannot have just government unless we have godly men and women making the policies. Likewise, we will not elect godly men and women to public office unless we have a godly electorate. If you want to see this nation become that shining city on the hill, pray for it every day, and when you pray, remember to pray for revival.
Joyce Swann is a nationally-known author and speaker. Her own story of teaching her ten children from the first grade through master’s degrees before their seventeenth birthdays is retold in her book, Looking Backward: My Twenty-Five Years as a Homeschooling Mother. Her novel, The Warrior, about how one woman's prayers change the lives of those around her, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information visit her website at Frontier 2000 or like her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/frontier2000mediagroup.