Praying for our nation?

Published 8:11 pm Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Where could I go but to the Lord” is a southern gospel song written by Mississippian songwriter J.B. Coats. He was visiting with a friend who was bedridden and very sick. Coats asked his friend about his salvation and where would he be going when he died. His friend replied, “Where could I go but to the Lord.”

Coats filed that little phrase in the songwriting portion of his brain and wrote the song years later.

“Where could I go but to the Lord” is a pretty good question that we might ask ourselves these days as our nation scrambles to find any kind of firm footing. I would say we are sort of “wobbly” right now.

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Another good question to consider would be “Are Americans praying for their nation?” I am not sure that I am praying for our nation enough.

Instead of praying, I seem to enjoy complaining. Do you do that? Or perhaps, you feel that our nation’s problems are so unsolvable, that even the Good Lord can’t help us. I know you don’t feel that way. God is all powerful! Plus, God wants to help us and has even promised to help nations.

There are caveats, though. Caveats are stipulations or conditions that need to be met before the specific desired action is undertaken.

I like to get paid, but there is the condition of working for my money. You may want a certain job, but there could be an educational stipulation. Those are caveats.

We may seek God’s blessings or His help and He is more than able, even willing. However, there may be a condition. We can see that clearly in that very familiar verse of Scripture, 2 Chronicles 7:14. You know; the one that begins “If my people who are called by my name…”

Those Old Testament words are God’s answer to King Solomon’s requests of God. The king has been praying to God as the brand, new and spectacular Temple is dedicated. There are the thanks to God for His goodness and His provisions and then Solomon asks God to hear the prayers of His people, Israel, when the heady days of celebration are past.

Solomon is wise enough to recognize the uniqueness of the moment. Israel is at peace and is experiencing great prosperity. Storms never last, the country song reminds, but neither do the good times.

He foresees times of challenge. There will be those times when the rains do not fall so abundantly. There will be those times when enemies will win. God’s people, blessed as they seem at the Temple dedication, will experience valleys of despair and doubt.

Solomon asks God to remember them during those times. God says He will.

But…there seems to always be a “but” or an “if.” The promise of God and His blessings are dependent upon God’s people’s respect toward God. Disrespect of God is a serious offense and America, not all Americans, but many, have seemingly made it their priority to separate our country from our Judeo-Christian moorings. All America will pay for the decisions of some.

It wasn’t too long ago that a president said, “To preserve our blessed land we must look to God. It is time to realize that we need God more than He needs us.” I agree.