The Crazy Reason We Avoid Praying for Our Own Country

 

Raising support, whether spiritual or financial, for mission work in the United States is exponentially harder than raising support for work overseas. Most people I have talked with attribute this to a perceived lack of need for mission work here. "After all," people say, "America is a Christian nation founded on Christian principles with a church in every town. If someone in America wants to know about Jesus they can just go to church." The more I think about this, the less it makes sense. It doesn’t take much looking around at the issues that plague our country to realize that, as a whole, we are not centered on serving Christ. America has an increasing number of people who don’t know they can go to church or what they will find there. The only knowledge of church many Americans have is what they see portrayed on TV shows and in the media. Many were raised to believe the church was not a place for them, and others struggle to separate the church from the actions of people claiming to be Christians. It doesn’t matter how amazing a church is or how great their out-reach is, if people don’t understand what the church really is.


The real reason we don't pray for America is that we really do understand the power of prayer. We know it is impossible to intently and consistently pray for something without having God realign our hearts to match His. Thus, it is much safer for us to support foreign missions work. We can pray daily, give financially, and even encourage others to join us in supporting the work of these missionaries, without risking that God will ask us to do anything more drastic than an occasional short term mission trip.  If we turn our prayers to mission work here, we run the risk that God will ask us to be an active part of His work here on a regular basis.

 

We - American Christians - have spent decades talking about the work God is doing “over there”. As a result, our churches have become less responsive to the needs of our own country and the work God wants to do here. God is preparing America for a movement of His spirit. As His children, we must prepare ourselves and work to break down the spiritual strongholds that exist here. These tasks can only be accomplished through prayer. The time has come for the people of God to turn our attention to our land the way previous generations have focused on foreign lands.


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