“The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.” Proverbs 15:29

I believe we stand at a crossroad at this time in our nation. Civil disobedience is condoned. Civil and national authorities are calling for disbanding the police. Murder and mayhem take place in our cities with abandon weekend after weekend. Liberal and socialist-leaning professors have been teaching our youth for two decades that capitalism is evil and that there needs to be a redistribution of wealth in our country. Those who would encourage these thoughts and actions would see this great country torn down and become something that has never been sustained in all of history.

The question is: what can we do? What should be done? There are two things that I would encourage. Vote for people of principle and character, regardless of party affiliation. Every citizen has an equal vote. When we do not exercise that privilege we have no right to complain when things begin to go to hell in a hand basket!

It a sad thing when Christians choose a political party over moral values and God’s Word. Why would a Christian vote for a person who supports killing little babies? Why would a Christian vote for a person who upholds ungodly actions over Christian values? “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

Does one actually think that because they lead a good life, go to church, and give to charities that God will overlook on the judgment day their actions of supporting evil?

Second, though this is really the main thing, pray. Yes, some would say that’s like whistling in the dark. Not so! Prayer has power. Six million gallons of water pours over Niagara Falls every minute. Standing there you feel awestruck in the presence of such raw power. For decades people have been able to walk close to the brink of this awesome phenomenon. Prayer should be like that, drawing near to the source of indescribable power. It is feeling safe and awestruck at the same time. Richard Foster said, “We yearn for prayer and hide from prayer. We believe we should do it, we even want to do it, but something stands between us and actually praying.”

When our children were quite young we taught them traditional prayers. “Now I lay me down to sleep...” Before we ate, “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.” They memorized them to the point that they could just say them without thinking about them.

We understand that is necessary in young children, but God expects prayer to be more than just words in mature believers. Jesus instructed His followers that prayer was to be intimate conversation between two parties that care about each other. He said, “When you pray, go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

My point today? It’s time we got serious about praying for our nation and its leaders. It’s time for prayer that is not memorized or hurriedly uttered while we have something else on our mind that we need to do. It’s time we did more than just gripe about the condition of things that God has the power to change. Maybe He is just waiting to hear from His people. And that means some heartfelt pleading on our part for God to heal our land and to use us, you and me, to make a difference, to stand for moral values, to express our faith openly, to challenge those that would shout hatred, to love them but also not accept their warped values.

I believe the Lord gives some people more talent than others. But to every one of us He gives us the opportunity to boldly approach Him in prayer, to praise Him for His greatness and love, and to petition Him to heal our land. I’m convinced that something mysterious happens when we pray. Have you experienced that? If not, perhaps it is time that you did. Pray for the healing of our country!

Emmett Murphy is a retired Christian Church pastor.