“… and pray…”
The word here is palal – to intercede. It is a courtroom term implying God as Judge. Here we act as an advocate for another, appealing in their behalf. First, we humble ourselves repenting; and only then can we represent the nation. The Douay-Rheims Bible says we, “…being converted,” ourselves having experienced change, “shall make supplication.” Here we appeal for mercy in God’s courtroom. We ask him to repeal the due sentence and stay the judgment.
Having humbled ourselves, and repented – we now are more capable of standing ‘between’ God and others, since intercession assumes a healthy and vital connection with God as a basis for its function.
We stand as advocates, extensions of heaven, reaching to others; as priestly intercessors, in behalf of those who do not know you – for some, who may not want to know you. For leaders. For cultural influencers. For the people.
As intercessors, we plead for the nation. We pray for those who are the blind purveyors of darkness, themselves victims. And those bound and wounded.
We take a position in your behalf God, in behalf of righteousness, in behalf of godliness and change.
We take a position in behalf of the wounded, the children who have never held a Bible, never heard the story – right here in America.
We take a position through prayer, at places where sin is openly celebrated, in behalf of homes where your name is not honored, toward churches where revival fires have gone out, in the homes of seniors lacking care, singles lacking companionship, youth lacking fathers, latch-key kids whose moms, despite their best efforts, will run short of food this month.
We reach out – to the homeless, to the addicted, to the abused, to the kid who today will take his initiation in a gang…we weep for this nation.
We take a position in courtrooms where you name is on the wall, but your principles, the very foundation of our laws, are not allowed. In Congress and the White house, in state houses and Governor’s mansions – have mercy on us.
We intercede. We ask you to come to America. Save us. Turn the nation back to You – for your glory.
“…and seek my face…”
Prayer cannot be merely to avert disaster or looming judgment. The lost relationship is primary. It is not merely the hand of God that is sought. We need God Himself. We seek ‘his face’ – his smile and approval. We seek his watchful and protective care, to hear him and be heard by him.
God, we know it is so easy, to seek your hand. So easy to plea for intervention. So easy, for us to ask you to fix this or that – and all the while, ignore you.
We seek your face.
God, we genuinely ask for grace to seek a renewed relationship with you – not merely your hand of intervention – but your face.
Put in us, in this nation, a desire to again know you. To want a vital intimate connection with you. One that is personal. Authentic, and not merely utilitarian.
Help us to want You, not for what You can do for us; but for who You are, and what You stand for…
And transform us, beholding Your face, into your likeness.
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