Are you praying for the impossible? I begin my daily devotionals by going over key verses through which God has spoken to me. After each verse I have several long term prayer requests. Under one of those verses I have this prayer.

I want to wait prayerfully for You to accomplish what is absolutely impossible in human strength.

I pray for God to help me trust Him for the impossible. But I don't want to pray for just any impossibility. For one thing, if I am praying for anything short of what God desires, I will be praying too small.

I am not absolutely sure what God wants to do in and beyond America in these days. But I believe I know some things God wants us to ask for. I believe God wants us to pray for our culture to be radically turned around.

Several weeks ago I wrote in this blog that there is more to concern us about abortion than its legality. One of the things I wrote was that it is crucial to change our media and our culture's attitude toward sex and marriage if we want to significantly reduce the number of abortions. That is humanly impossible. But I don't think that is enough.

I am listening to Eric Metaxas' book, If You Can Keep It.  He says freedom does not mean to be ungoverned. As the founders of our nation meant it, liberty is the freedom to govern ourselves. Eric quotes Os Guinness, citing the "Golden Triangle of Liberty.” The founders all assumed these three things worked together, liberty, morality, and religion. We cannot have liberty without morality, and we need free religion to sustain personal morality.

I believe a genuine revival sweeping the land will not just change our attitudes toward sex and marriage, but toward all morality, religion and godliness. I have been more and more alarmed at the profanity on television. Some of the shows that never had filthy language or innuendos are now rife with them. The fact that many of us think that is a picky matter is an indication that this is not simply an unholy influence, but a spiritual thermometer of our nation. In Matthew 12:34 Jesus said,

"Brood of vipers!How can you speak good things when your hearts are evil?

For the mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart."

I fear this year's presidential election reflects the hearts of America. Especially in a democracy where grassroots movements sway elections we get the government we deserve.

Changing the hearts of this entire nation would be a revival like the world has not seen since the sweep of Christianity through the Roman Empire in the first three centuries A.D.

I don't know what we will see as a result of these prayers. This kind of praying may turn out much like Abraham's intercession for Sodom. The tears of Jeremiah did not change the hearts of Israel. And the move of God on Europe in the early days of the church cost believers dearly. But it was certainly worth every drop of martyrs' blood. Whatever it costs us, such prayer could bring about the greatest revival in history.

Let's pray for the impossible!

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  • David, I always appreciate your insight!  I agree with you that morality is a much larger issue than we typically understand.  Issues of abortion and what constitutes marriage have become politicized but they are not at heart political issues - they are moral issues and, ultimately, spiritual issues.  As a result, our primary weapon to deal with them is prayer.

    I've been praying lately for a transformation in our churches, because I think that's where revival will begin.  I fear that we have lowered the bar enough so that the church doesn't look much different from the world in its morality.  The numbers for divorce and extramarital sex aren't that different inside the church than in society as a whole - this should cut us to the heart. 

    I fear that the "emerging church" movement - for all the good it has done (and it has done much good) - has lowered the expectations of the church for spiritual transformation among believers.  We have emphasized a welcoming culture, a grace-filled and non-judgmental approach, and an inviting atmosphere - all good things in themselves.  But this has come at the cost of expectation of transformation. 

    I recently moved from the Chicago area, where I attended a very well-known and successful church for over 20 years.  In the satellite church that I attended for the last 13 years, I have noticed (among other things) a standard of dress among the teenagers that would have scandalized a church 30 years ago.  Now I'm not a big suit-and-tie guy myself.  But I see much immodesty in the church among the younger people of today, and nothing seems to be said about it.  In 20+ years of attending this church, I have heard exactly one sermon on modesty.

    I say this not to judge the church, because that's not my place.  I do believe that at the current rate we will indeed come under judgment, but it won't be coming from me.  Instead, I say this to urge prayer for the church - prayer that we will regain an emphasis on personal holiness and discipleship, that we will insist on being separate (not isolated) from the world, that the character of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit would characterize believers and that we'll be consistently trained and challenged in these areas.  A church that looks just like the world has no prophetic voice.  I'm praying that God will restore our prophetic voice and our place as salt and light in our culture by transforming us - individually and corporately - from the inside out.  That's a prayer that I know only God can answer.

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