Intervening By Prayer In National Affairs
Derek Prince
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Praying To Change History Series
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Intervening By Prayer In National Affairs

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Part 2 of 6: Praying To Change History

By Derek Prince

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Be encouraged and inspired with this Bible-based sermon by Derek Prince.

Be encouraged and inspired with this Bible-based sermon by Derek Prince.

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First of all, I just want to remind you briefly of the material that we covered in the first study, then we’ll go on to new material in this study. In the first study we emphasized first of all the great fact that God wants us to pray and wants us to get what we pray for. We are not dealing with an unwilling and reluctant God. God’s willingness to answer prayer is far greater than our willingness to pray. The prayer of the upright, scripture says, is God’s delight. He loves to hear the prayer of his upright people.

However, there are great basic conditions laid down in the word of God for receiving the answer to our prayers. And in our previous study we outlined seven major conditions which I will review very quickly. The first one is that we pray in the name of Jesus. This means that we base our claim for access to God only upon Jesus, who he is and what he has done. We have no other claim for access to God but in the name of Jesus.

Secondly, we come with praise and thanksgiving. This is the way of entry into the presence of God. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise.

Thirdly, God requires that we come without any condemnation, boldly. The scripture says that we are to come boldly unto the throne of grace.

Fourthly, our motive must be right. And the great acceptable motive with God is for the glory of God that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Fifthly, successful praying requires right relationships with other people. If we have resentment, bitterness or unforgiveness in our hearts against others, this is a barrier to the answer to our prayer. Jesus said when ye stand praying, forgive if ye have ought against any.

Sixthly, the great helper in prayer is the Holy Spirit. He is the one who God has sent to help us in our infirmities. We do not know how to pray as we ought but the Spirit helps us. He makes intercession for us and through us according to the will of God. And the great art of successful praying is the art of yielding to the Holy Spirit as we pray.

And the seventh great condition is that we pray according to the word of God. The word of God is the revelation of the will of God. God’s promises are his will revealed to us. We need to be able to say as David said in the Old Testament, “Do as thou hast said.” And as Mary said in the New Testament, “Be it unto me according to thy word.” When we pray like that we pray on a level that is far above our own natural wisdom or ability or understanding. Paul says in Ephesians 3:20 that God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us. The power that works in us is the power of the Holy Spirit. And the exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think is the promises of God’s word. Because God’s promises are on a far higher plane than we can ever achieve by our natural understanding. Had the virgin Mary sat and meditated for 50 years on the greatest thing that she could ever ask from God she would never have come anywhere near the level upon which she prayed when she said that simple sentence: “Be it unto me according to Thy word.” That released the greatest miracle in human experience. When you pray that way you are praying above your own natural reason, understanding and ability and God is then able by the Holy Spirit to do for you the exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think.

This brings us to the great principle which is the basis of what I am going to be teaching you today: that prayer, in a certain sense, is like a symphony. Jesus said in Matthew 18:19:

“If two of you shall agree touching any thing that they shall ask it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”

The word agree is taken from a Greek word which gives us the English word symphony. The basic concept is one of harmony. And I took this illustration of a symphony that in order to produce the harmony which is the outcome of the symphony, we need the orchestra, we need the conductor and we need the score.

Now the orchestra are those who come together for prayer. But, the conductor is the Holy Spirit. And the score is God’s will revealed in his word. Here is where we have the possibility of prayer symphony. It’s two or three brought together in the name of Jesus and then the Holy Spirit becomes the conductor. With the baton of his authority he unites us in a single focus on the will of God revealed in the word of God. The word of God interpreted by the Holy Spirit is the score that brings believers together in harmony. And when we pray in harmony then any thing that we ask will be done for us.

Now my purpose in our study today is to deal with certain passages of the scripture treating each particular passage in succession as the score and allowing the Holy Spirit to interpret it and to bring us together in harmony. The first passage that I want to deal with this morning is found in 1 Timothy 2:1–4. Here we have what I call the score. Our score this morning for this first passage is 1 Timothy 2:1–4. Now what we are going to do is interpret this in such a way that we will be brought together in harmony in unison on God’s will revealed. Now I’m going to read these words in the King James Version.

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Now let’s take those four verses and interpret them in a practical and realistic way. What is the first activity of God’s people met together in fellowship? What is the basic ministry of a local congregation? 1 Timothy was written by Paul to Timothy to instruct him in the order and discipline and life of a local congregation. And at the beginning of the second chapter, Paul says, first of all. The first great activity of a local group is what? Paul says supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks.

If we could use one collective noun for those different phrases I believe all of us would agree it would be prayer. So the primary activity of believers met together in fellowship as they begin to minister to the Lord is prayer. Prayer is basic.

Now then, in the second verse Paul tells us the first theme of prayer. At the end of the first verse he has said generally all men. But at the beginning of the second verse he tells us for whom we are to pray first. Out of the whole human race for whom are we to pray first? Is it for the missionary? The evangelist? The sick? No. And this is where the great majority of Christians are out of line with the revealed will of God. They do not put God’s priority first. God says when you come together in a local congregation in prayer, or if it’s two or three met together, the first thing that I want you to pray for is kings and all that are in authority. Now on this side of the Atlantic we can miss out the kings. But we cannot with all in authority. What is the first specific theme of prayer that God ordains for his people? I would say using modern phraseology, the government. How many of you have realized that? That your primary responsibility in prayer is to pray for the government of your nation.

Now unless I have been preaching in an area and preached on this, my experience is that far fewer than 20 percent of God’s professing people have any conception that their primary responsibility is to pray for their government. In fact, I find the majority of professing Christians do not pray intelligently for their government as much as once a week. And this is a terrible delinquency on the part of God’s people. We are failing God and failing our nation and thereby failing ourselves by our omission to pray as God enjoins us to pray first of all, for the government. That’s item number one on God’s prayer list, the government.

Now I’m going to try to show you today why God requires us to pray first for the government and what we lose when we do not pray for the government. Now Paul goes on to say in the second half of verse 2 what we are to pray for when we pray for the government. And he says that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life and then the scripture goes on, in all godliness and honesty. I wonder how many of you in Washington D.C. could say that you are leading a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Because I was talking to a lady last night about the dangers that we’ve been through when we were in the war between the Jews and the Arabs. She said that’s nothing. In Washington D.C. we can’t go out alone. I sat next to a group of Orientals at breakfast in San Francisco about three years ago and there were two diplomatic officials from Hong Kong. So I said to them in a conversational way, what’s it like in Hong Kong? And I expected them to tell me about the Communist threat and so on. They said in Hong Kong a woman can walk alone at any hour of the day or night but they said in San Francisco you can’t even do that in the daytime.

Now we know this is true, this is not an exaggeration. In most major American cities today a woman cannot walk with safety and unconcern alone in many areas any hour of the day or night. And in many areas neither can a man. Are we leading a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty? The last few weeks, the headquarters of our government have been like an embattled besieged city. Is that right? We’ve seen it. It’s on TV, it’s in the newspapers. We are not leading a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Now I’m probably the newest American citizen here and in order to become an American citizen I learned that the center of all American institutions is the Constitution. And as I read through the Constitution and its amendments in the form in which it’s provided for those intending to become American citizens, I came up with this conclusion. That the real basic purpose of the American Constitution as devised by its founders was to create a situation in the United States of America where we can lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. I really believe that those words sum up as accurately as is possible to do the basic intent of the American Constitution. And if that intent is achieved, I believe we can say that we have good government. In other words, the function of good government by American standards is to provide a framework, a situation of law and order and administration in which as private citizens without undue interference or oppression, each one of us can quietly go about our daily life and business leading a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. I really am convinced that the founding fathers would have accepted that as their primary objective in framing the American Constitution.

And so I believe we can say that this prayer theme can be summed up in the phrase good government. What are we to pray for when we pray for those in authority? We are to pray for good government. That they may effectively and efficiently fulfill their function, so govern us, so administer the nation and its laws and its forces of law and order and its various resources that we may have the privilege—and surely it is a privilege—of leading a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

So I say, and this is my summation, that Paul tells us that we first of all must have as our primary activity when we come together, prayer. The first thing that we are to pray for is all that are in authority. And the thing that we are to ask for when we pray for those in authority is good government. Do I have you with me? Is that a simple, logical, clear explication of those words. I believe it is. If I haven’t convinced you this far, then you won’t follow me farther. But if you’ve come this far, then you can go farther.

Now let’s turn over and go on unfolding this scripture text. I’m still going on with 1 Timothy 2:1–4. We came to the end of verse 2 that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. And we said this means in one simple phrase: good government.

Now Paul goes on to say in verse 3: for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior. Now I’ve been a teacher of English, among other things, and I know that in the English language when you use the pronoun this, it refers to the thing immediately preceding. This refers to the thing that’s immediately gone before. So this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior. What does this refer to? You look back at the end of verse 2, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. And we’ve summed that up as good government. So, I say that verse 3 tells us this: good government is God’s will.

Now this is vitally important that you make up your mind whether you believe that or not. There are three areas in which every Christian needs to be convinced about the will of God. The first is health. Is good health the will of God? Personally, I believe it is. The second is prosperity. Is prosperity the will of God? I believe that it is. And the third which most Christians never really consider seriously is good government. Is good government in a nation the will of God? What do you believe. Have you ever considered it? Well. I have considered it long and deep, I’ve pondered over it, prayed over it and studied the word of God. And my conclusion is that good government is the revealed will of God.

Furthermore, the fourth verse tells us the great basic reason why good government is the will of God. For it says in verse 4: that God will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. God does not desire any human soul to be lost. Through Jesus Christ and his death on the cross and the preaching of the gospel, God has made provision for every soul to have the opportunity to be forgiven and to find salvation and eternal life. But you and I know, and we have to recognize, that though the provision has been made once and for all by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, it is only effective to those who hear the news of the death of Jesus. In other words, the gospel. Though provision has been made by God for all men to be saved, no man can be saved until he hears the gospel preached. Therefore, because God wants all men to be saved he wants all men to have the opportunity to hear the truth of the gospel through preaching. So, God wants all men to be saved. Therefore he wants all men to hear the gospel. Therefore he wants the gospel to be preached to all men.

Now we ask ourselves this simple question. Which better promotes the preaching of the gospel? Good government or bad government? In my opinion there is absolutely no doubt it’s good government that promotes the preaching of the gospel. It maintains law and order, it keeps communications open, it maintains civil liberty, it maintains the right of freedom of speech, it does everything that’s needed to make it possible to preach the gospel.

Bad government has the opposite effect. In one of either two ways: either chaos will result through the breakdown of law and order. In which case it becomes difficult to communicate, difficult to travel, difficult to preach—or, at the other extreme, bad government will suppress the liberty of the individual and the God given right to all men to believe and to profess their faith in God and will suppress everything that relates to the gospel. This we see in the countries under Communist rule at the present time. By and large, with some exceptions, they systematically use all the power and authority of government to prevent the preaching of the gospel. I believe that this is not an exaggeration, it is a pretty accurate generalization.

So good government promotes the preaching of the gospel, bad government hinders the preaching of the gospel. God wants all men to be saved, he wants them to hear the gospel, he wants the gospel to be preached. Because good government promotes the preaching of the gospel, God wants good government. That is why good government is the will of God.

Let’s look at it in this very simple outline. I’ve tried to keep this so simple that no one can miss the point. Good government is God’s will because God desires all to be saved. In order to be saved all must hear the gospel. Good government makes it easier to spread the gospel. Now if you agree with the basic fundamental principles of the scripture, I do not see how you can possibly disagree with those statements. It seems to me they’re self evident. My ambition when I preach is always to say things that are so obvious that no one can disagree with them. I never desire to be complicated or profound, I have no ambition. I want to be so simple and direct that no one can argue. I don’t always achieve it but that’s my ambition. I feel in this I actually have achieved it. No intelligent person who believes the scripture can argue with these conclusions.

All right. We’ll go on to the next movement in the symphony. The next score is 1 John 5:14–15. We’ll read them in the King James Version.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him...”

That is in God. Notice that in prayer our confidence must be in a person. We must have a personal confidence in God. This is the confidence, the strong assurance that we have him. Now, what is our confidence?

“That if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

Let’s put this down in a very simple way. We have confidence, absolute assurance in God, that if we ask anything according to God’s will, we know two things: We know first of all that God hears us. You may remember if you were here at our previous study I pointed out that God does not commit himself to hear all prayers. In fact, the difficulty is not to get God to answer, the problem is to get God to hear because every prayer that God hears he’s committed to answer. But he’s not committed to hear all prayer. In fact, we have to meet the conditions to have our prayer heard. If we ask anything according to God’s will we know first of all that God hears us. And if we know that God hears us, what do we know? We have our petition. We have the thing that we have asked for. Are you with me? Is that a correct interpretation of verses 14 and 15? Logical? All right, then we’re moving on.

Now we’re going to bring the two themes together. We’re uniting the theme of 1 Timothy 2:1–4 and 1 John 5:14–15. We have established from 1 Timothy 2:1–4 that good government is God’s will. You with me? Good government is God’s will. From 1 John 5:14–15 we have established this: That if we pray for anything according to God’s will, God hears us, we have our petition.

Now good government is according to God’s will so if we pray for good government, what two things do we know? We know that God hears us. We know that we have our petition. What is our petition? Good government. What were we praying for? Good government. It’s because it’s according to God’s will we know first of all that God hears us. And if we know that he hears us we know that we have what we pray for. Which was? Good government.

All right. So if we do not have good government what is the reason. Because what? We do not pray. You have said it exactly the way it is. Now this is not just a matter of deduction and inference, it’s a matter of experience that I have been able to check. The majority of professing Christians, even those who like to call themselves Spirit-filled, never intelligently pray for their government. Far less do they do it first. And many of you have not offered an intelligent prayer for the President of the United States this week. And many of you not this month. You know what you are? You’re guilty. You’re guilty of disobedience to God and in a certain sense, you’re a traitor to your country. Oh yes! You criticize. God didn’t call you to criticize. He called you to pray. I have never met a nation so critical of its elected officers as the United States. Never in my life. Practically no European nation would permit itself to speak with such disrespect and cynicism about its elected rulers as the people of America. And when you show that gross persistent disrespect for your own elected rulers, you know what you’re really showing disrespect for? Yourself. Because it’s your government and you are answerable for it. You put it in. In a tyranny where the people have no say in the government it’s another matter. But in the modern United States people that criticize their government, belittle it and express nothing but cynicism are actually just downgrading themselves and their nation. The greatest enemy of the United States is the United States. There isn’t a question about that. The image of the United States that is projected in other nations is tragic. There are two main sources of information. The movies and the newspaper. And both of them glorify and magnify the problems of the United States. Sex, crime, violence an so on. You have little idea of the extent to which this affects the thinking of other people in other nations.

As you know, I’m from Britain. For about two years my wife and I lived in the Chicago area. And do you know that friends and relatives from Britain wrote to us with real concern for our personal safety. They really thought we were in personal, physical danger. You know who gave that impression? The American media of mass communication. Now I know Chicago is a dangerous city. But it’s absolutely ridiculous to create the impression that you can’t at any time be safe in Chicago. Don’t you agree? That would be absurd. I can tell you lots of bad things about Chicago, believe me. But that is an extreme exaggeration. Who’s responsible for it? Not the Europeans, but the Americans.

What did God call his believing people to do? To criticize? Or to pray? Let me tell you this: if you spent as much time praying as most of you spend criticizing, you’d have much less to criticize. Really, when you criticize the government, you’re confessing that you’re backsliding. Because if you could pray effectively for the government, you’d have what you pray for, which would be good government. Whose fault is it? Ours, let’s say, ours. We are to blame.

Now I’m going to take a little time to illustrate what I have said from personal experience. Because I have learned by experience that if I preach this way and do not illustrate it by personal example, for the majority of people what I say remains a mere theory. They may give intellectual assent because I can prove it out of the scripture but they really don’t come to the point of believing it to that extent where they’ll act on it. So I have chosen certain specific examples out of my own personal experience of prayer with dates and indications of the time and the situation and I’m going to tell you briefly what happened in these four instances.

First of all, in l943 I was a soldier in the British Army in North Africa from 1941 through 1943. I went out there when it was not the 8th Army but the Western Desert Force and it was a highly demoralized group of men. The basic problem was that the men did not have confidence in their officers. The officers were selfish, irresponsible and undisciplined. I’m the son of Army officers and I say what I say having considered exactly what I mean to say. The officers were extremely selfish. We lived on very short quantities of water. A water bottle of water was all that we were allowed for two days for everything, washing, shaving, drinking, cooking. And yet when you went into the officer’s mess they had more water on their tables to drink with their whiskey than the enlisted men had for every purpose for two days. The result was the largest retreat in the history of the British Army. A retreat from a place called ?El Agaila? to a place called El Alamein, right along the north coast of North Africa. And I was in that retreat. 1500 miles of continuous retreat, it’s a long way to retreat. Then we came to this place that was called Alamein and we dug in and waited to see what would happen.

Now I had been saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit about a year or a year and a half previously. I had no opportunity of fellowship in churches. The only fellowship I had was with God, the Holy Spirit and the Bible. But God laid on my heart a burden of prayer. And I began to consider to myself, “How can I pray in such a way that God will answer prayer?” Because surely God cannot bless leadership of that kind. So this is the prayer I prayed. “God, give us leaders such that it will be for your glory to give us victory through them.” I prayed that prayer consistently for a while. Then the British government decided to relieve the commander of the British forces in North Africa and replace him by another man. The man whom they chose was a general named Gott. He was flown back from the front lines to Cairo to take command, his plane crashed on landing, he was thrown out and broke his neck. And at this critical moment the British government did not have a commander in this major theater of the war. And then Winston Churchill more or less on his own initiative promoted an unknown commander whose name was Montgomery. And he suddenly and unexpectedly became the commander of the British forces. Now Montgomery is a sincere born again Christian. He’s also a man of tremendous discipline. Within six months he had turned those officers upside down. I’ll tell you, it was a comical sight to watch. I won’t go into the details but he restored discipline and he restored the respect of the men for their officers. Then the battle of Alamein was fought. The first major Allied victory in the entire course of the war and the threat to Egypt and to the land of Israel was finally thrown back and the whole course of the war changed in the favor of the Allies.

Now I was in the desert at the time and about two days after the battle was fought I was with a military truck and on the tailboard of the truck was a little portable radio and a news commentator was giving a broadcast of the battle of Alamein in retrospect. He was describing the scene at Montgomery’s headquarters when he was actually preparing for the battle and he described how Montgomery came out and called to his officers and men and said this: “Let us in prayer ask the Lord mighty in battle to give us the victory.” And when I heard those words, heaven’s electricity went through me from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet and God said to me in an inward voice, that is the answer to your prayer.

Now here is an example. The leadership was corrupt, inept, unworthy. And yet I felt I ought to pray. God inspired me to pray a prayer that he could answer for his glory. Lord, give us leaders such that it will be for your glory to give us victory through them. The man who was chosen by man was set aside. The man whom God had chosen was promoted. And remember, promotion comes from the Lord, don’t forget that. And victory came for the glory of God. That’s the difference.

Now let’s move on. l947–48 my wife and I were living in Israel when it was decided to partition the land between the Jews and the Arabs and to set up the State of Israel. And we were there in Jewish Jerusalem, the 15th of May, l948 when the State of Israel came into being. In fact, when the open fighting began, our house was almost precisely 100 yards from the front line. And we never went out of our front door for the next six weeks because we would have been shot dead instantly. I’m just letting you know that we were pretty intimately involved in the situation. Now my wife had lived in Israel for many years, she’d been through many previous riots and conflicts and wars. She had seen how totally unprepared the Jewish people had always been on every previous occasion for the onslaught of the Arabs. I want to say this is not a matter of pro or anti Arab, this is a matter of God’s will revealed in his word and of realistic fact. And let’s deal with facts. So when the time came that it was obvious that a major clash lay ahead, and in due course five surrounding Arab nations simultaneously declared war on the State of Israel, and two million Jews found themselves surrounded by forty million Arabs, far better armed with much better equipment and of course, totally outnumbering them, my wife and I began to pray. And one day I heard my wife say these words in prayer: “Lord, paralyze the Arabs.” After that, when the British left, the Jewish defense force, the Haganah [which became the Jewish Army] moved into our house and left a polite little note saying we would like to set up an outpost in your backyard. I remember it was found by a young man whose name was ?Finneyat? That always appealed to me somehow. So, I knew they’d set up the outpost whether we said yes or no so I said yes. And in this way we were brought into close personal contact with a group of young Jewish people, men and women, who were fighting for their country and their lives. And this fighting went on for about six weeks until the United Nations imposed a cease fire of four weeks. During this cease fire there was little or no fighting. And at one point during the cease fire a group of these young Jewish people came into our living room and were just sitting there sharing with us casually about what they’d been through in the fighting. And one of these young men said, “You know, it’s the most remarkable thing. The Arabs outnumber us 20 to 1, they’re better armed, everything is in their favor, but when we go into a building it’s just as if they’re paralyzed.”

You see the goodness of God. Not merely that he answered our prayers but that he gave us objective firsthand witness that he answered it. Why? Because we were praying in accordance with the revealed will of God. The time has come for God to restore the Jewish people to the land that has always been there legally for the last 3500 years. You say to whom does the land belong? Shall I tell you the answer? It belongs to God. And God has absolute right to do what he will with it. God is not anti Arab. God is pro Arab, pro Jew, pro American, pro Russian, pro Chinese. God isn’t against anybody. But God, on the face of the map of the earth which he created, says there’s a little portion in the middle that will go to the sons of Jacob. And you know what will happen to it? It will go to the sons of Jacob. And if the stiff-necked Jews and the stiff-necked Arabs alike would both bow to the Lord Jesus Christ, they’d be in their right place in a few weeks. God has a place for the Arabs, he has a place for the Jews. The place that he gave to the Jews is not going to be the place for the Arabs. And Almighty God has absolute right to say what he’ll do with what it his. In fact, he said it and now he’s doing it, that’s what’s happening.

Let’s move on. After we had been in Israel, my wife and I moved to London and eventually we began a kind of mission in the center of London; evangelistic street meetings and many other activities. As a matter of fact, some of the little Jewish girls that we brought with us from Israel were preaching in the streets of London and winning souls. But we always retained a particular interest and concern for the Jewish people and round about the year l953 we received up to date information from inside Russia that Stalin was planning a fresh pogrom of the Jews in Russia. And we were in touch with a few little groups of praying believers who were concerned about Israel and the Jewish people. And so these groups, about four or five of them up and down the country in Britain set aside a certain specific day as a day of fasting and prayer for the Jews in Russia. I forget the day but I believe it was a Thursday. We fasted and prayed for the Jews inside Russia. Do you know what happened? Within two weeks Stalin was dead. Now we did not tell God what to do with Stalin. Personally I believe God knew what to do with Stalin but we just prayed. And when Stalin died, as you know, the whole regime and the whole program in Russia was changed. So that we speak of the era of deStalinization. Why did that happen? Shall I tell you why? Because we prayed. Well you say, aren’t you very presumptuous? Yes I’m presumptuous to believe that God means what he says in his word. If that’s presumption then I’m presumptuous.

But let me ask you a question. Do you pray or don’t you? Now if you don’t believe that God answers prayer it’s very foolish to pray. You’d better stop. But if you do believe that God answers prayer then it’s foolish not to pray. So you better make your mind up. As for me, my mind is made up. I believe that God answers prayer.

We’ll go on to the fourth example which I want to take which is in the land of Kenya in East Africa. My wife and I were there as missionaries from the beginning of l957 to the end of l961. During that period the three territories which were known as British East Africa were receiving independence. That’s Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika which later became Tanzania. And at that time the Belgian Congo received independence, was not properly prepared and was immediately plunged into a bloody and destructive civil war. And many of the missionaries who had been working in the Belgian Congo came out as refugees into Kenya and some of them lived awhile in our home, we knew firsthand what had happened in the Congo.

Now Kenya had already gone through the crisis with the Mau Mau and there was great disunion and mistrust and jealousy between 20 or more tribes which make up Kenya and who have never been united at any time in history. And all the political experts were saying that when Kenya got its independence it would go like the Congo and far worse. And every kind of political indication was that way. At that time we held a conference of young African people in the year 1960 in western Kenya. We had about 200 or more young Africans, mainly students or teachers, together for a week of meetings. The meetings ended on a Sunday evening and that particular Sunday one of our fellow missionaries, a Canadian missionary, preached and the first two hours of the meeting were normal. After that, God moved into that meeting. And for the last two hours of that meeting no human being was really in control of the meeting. It was a sovereign move of the Spirit of God. And during that time I was down somewhere at the far end of the meeting place away from the platform, and the thought came to me we have touched God, his power is available to us, let’s not be like so many Pentecostals—forgive me saying it—and squander the power of God in spiritual self indulgence. Let’s use it for something positive. And the thought came to me about the political crisis that Kenya was facing and I saw out of the scriptures that it was a responsibility of those young African Christians to pray for the future of their own country. So I got up from where I was to walk up to the platform to tell them to pray for their own future. And as I walked past my wife she stopped me and I said what is it? She said tell them to pray for Kenya. I said that’s just what I’m going to the platform to do. Then I knew I had the mind of the Lord. So I quietened those young Africans and said, “Now your country is facing a crisis, tremendous political dangers. You are the ones who ought to pray.” So I led them in prayer. On the platform with me was a young African who had just become a teacher, close friend of mine, with whom I’m still in contact today. He knelt down to pray. And we prayed until we felt we had prayed through and touched God. And I’ll tell you, when Africans really pray, they pray. They don’t wait to see what Mrs. Jones is thinking behind them. They all lift up their hands and they all pray aloud at the same time and it’s like the sound of many waters. When we had finished, this young African who was beside me stood up and he said to his fellow Africans, “I would like to tell you what the Lord has just shown me. While we were praying I saw a red horse and it was very fierce and there was a man on it who was very black. And it was coming towards Kenya from the east. And behind it were other horses also red and also fierce. While I was watching, this red horse turned round and moved away from Kenya towards the north. And the other red horses followed it. While I was wondering what that meant, God spoke to me and he said this: Only the supernatural power of the prayer of my people can turn away the troubles that are coming upon this land.”

Now I would like to say that again because what was true in l960 in Kenya is equally true in l971 in Washington D.C. Only the supernatural power of the prayer of my people can turn away the troubles that are coming on this land. We prayed through, we touched God, the subsequent history of Kenya in the last ten years is historical evidence. Kenya was not plunged into civil war contrary to all expectations. It emerged peacefully into independence and is generally considered to be one of the most successful of the newly emerging nations on the whole of the continent of Africa. Entirely contrary to all natural presuppositions and predictions of the experts. You know the reason why? Because we prayed through. It is possible to change history by prayer. Not merely is it possible my good friend, but it is urgently necessary. Do you believe that?

Let me turn on. We come to one more scripture that we’re going to have as a theme for our symphony. This will be the last. 2 Chronicles 7:14. I am not able in the time to go into the context of this. God is speaking, he’s speaking to Solomon and he says this:

“If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Now where the King James says my people who are called by my name, the Hebrew says literally my people upon whom my name is called. And in 2 Corinthians 1:20—this is just by way of explanation—the scripture says:

“All the promises of God in Christ are yea and in Christ amen to the glory of God by us.”

Every promise made in the Bible by God is available to us in Christ if it applies. Now God says my people upon who my name is called. Do you call yourself a Christian? Is that what you call yourself? All right. Do you know what that means? It means that the name of Christ is called upon you. That’s what makes you a Christian, the fact that you are identified by the name of Christ. So this promise applies to us as much as ever applied to any group of people at any time in human history. And it says this of these people. If my people upon who my name is called will do four things, then God says he will do three things. But God doing the three things are conditional upon our first doing the four things. What are the four things that God requires from us? The first is the hardest. Humble ourselves. Not pray first. Because if you don’t pray in the right attitude you will not receive the answer. You know the hardest thing for religious people to do? Humble themselves. You know what creates pride in the human heart more than any other thing? Religion. The proudest people on earth are religious people. We can look at everybody else and point out all their faults, but we don’t see our own. Let me tell you this, religious people. The fact that you can prove everybody else wrong doesn’t prove you right. And as a matter of fact you’d be better employed on other things than proving everybody else wrong. There’s much more useful activities for you than that.

God says the first thing you have to do is humble yourself. This is not an emotion, it is a decision. From time to time I explicitly decide to humble myself. I say, God, I humble myself before you now. I am dust and ashes, I came from the dust, I’m going to the dust. And if opportunity provides I will cast myself down on my face on the ground or the floor and lie there before God and say that’s where I belong. You know what? It does me a lot of good. And I need to do it at least once a month because otherwise I begin to forget what I am and where I came from. And I begin to think I’m quite an important and interesting and useful person.

The next thing we have to do is what. Pray. The third thing is seek his face. That means pray through, just not have a prayer meeting. Pray until you contact God. The fourth thing is turn from our wicked ways. God, did you mean me? He said I mean my people upon whom my name is called. You know who hinders revival? Not the unconverted but the church. We are the barrier to God moving because God cannot move unless he moves through us. If we resist him he cannot reach the world.

God says if you will do four things I will do three things. What’s the first thing? Hear. You notice again God does not commit himself to hear all prayer. I’m convinced that most prayers prayed in most churches never get above the ceiling. Because God’s people haven’t met his conditions.

The second thing he will do is forgive. Forgive us. The third thing he will do is—what is it? Heal our land. Now, this is simple logic. If we look at our land today and say it’s in desperate need of healing, it isn’t healed, who is responsible? With whom does the blame lie? Has God failed? Or have we? Which do you believe? God says if you do four things I’ll do three. The final thing I’ll do is heal your land. If our land is not healed, are we to say God, you failed to do what you promised or are we to humble ourselves and say, God, we haven’t done what you required. What’s your answer? Do you want to see this land healed?

You know, my wife and I are both new American citizens. We’ve traveled widely through this land. You know what we say from time to time to one another? This land is too good to hand over to the devil. Do you believe that? I do. You know the other thing we say? It belongs to God. It does, doesn’t it? The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. If we claim America for God, we’re only claiming his own property back for him. We have a legal right to do it. And I am convinced in my heart that if we will do what God asks us to do he will do what he has promised. And I believe that healing is coming to this land. Because over the past five years or so small groups of believers here and there have begun to meet God’s requirements. There are people up and down this nation, small earnest praying groups that mean business with God that say, God, we will take you at your word. We will humble ourselves, we lay aside our pride, our sectarianism, our self righteousness, our stubbornness, our racial attitudes. We will pray. We will seek your face God and we will not turn until you move. We will lay aside everything you show us to be wicked and unpleasing to you. Our stubbornness, our rebellion, our self indulgence. And then God, we know you’ll hear, you’ll forgive and you will heal our land.

I wonder if there are any of you here this morning that would like to say, God, I’ll join that program. Shall we pray? I want to ask you now in the quiet moment, are you willing to do what God says? Either as an individual or in the group that you meet with. To humble yourself. That’s the beginning. You’ve got to acknowledge that you’ve failed. Not God has failed but you have failed. Will you set yourself to pray and seek God’s face? Will you turn from everything that God begins to reveal to you as unpleasing and as a hindrance to the moving of his Spirit? I am convinced that this nation can be turned back to God. I am convinced that the greatest revival in human history is on its way to the United States of America if we will just respond to what God is doing. Are there those of you here this morning that said, Brother Prince, with God’s help I’m going to do something about it. I’ll dedicate myself from this day forward to be more earnest and more sincere in seeking God for my nation and my government. If that is your decision I would like you to raise your hand. God bless you. God bless you, keep your hand up a moment, just a moment. I’ve got my hand up too and I’m going to pray.

Almighty God, we’re here in your presence now. We come through no merits of our own but in the name of Jesus. We have studied your word, we’ve seen your plan. And first and foremost Lord, we humble ourselves. We acknowledge our shortcomings. We acknowledge the way that we fail to pray for our government and for those in authority. Lord forgive us. Help us not to be remiss and slack from now on. Show us how to pray. Band us together in the bonds of love and peace and in the unity of the Spirit that we may pray that prayer of symphony which will move the arm of Almighty God on behalf of this nation. We pray now for the government of this nation from the president downward, from all who are in authority, for all who are in authority in every area of the government. We ask you to bless them, to guide them, to direct them, to give them a wisdom and understanding higher than their own, to overrule in their counsels and decisions so that they will do the things that please you and will promote the preaching of your word in this nation and throughout the world. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray and say amen. And all God’s people said Amen.

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