“Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders,
gather the children, those nursing at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.”
(Joel 2:16; NIV)
Many are not aware that America was birthed in prayer. From the Pilgrims’ prayers as they landed at Plymouth, to Benjamin Franklin’s call to prayer for Divine Assistance in the writing of the U. S. Constitution, prayer was a cornerstone of the nation’s founding. Men and women relied on God and sought Him as a part of the course of their daily events.
Prayer has surged in popularity off and on throughout our history, most notably in difficult seasons of time and just before the Great Awakenings and other major moves of God, such as the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s/early 1970s. The prayer movement most recently enjoyed a surge in the 1990’s, when prayer activities, such as the formation of numerous prayer groups in churches, prayer walking, prayer driving, prayer journeys, houses of prayer and prayer-saturated churches, became the norm. However, the tide was moving out again in this decade. Long-time prayer warriors were growing weary and the next generation did not seem to have the fire of their parents and grandparents.
However, as we approached 2016, Will Ford began to talk about it being a Joel 2:16 year. Also, God had given me a vision for an Appeal to Heaven Movement that would sweep a nation into prayer once again. We began to do Appeal to Heaven conferences across the nation, with an intent to go to all 50 states, if need be, to ignite passion for prayer for national revival. Many prayer groups and prayer ministries were renewed. Prayer gained momentum everywhere in 2016, and a new unity across prayer ministries came into being. God loves unity and we began to see the effects of our unified prayer! The Appeal to Heaven flag began to show up everywhere, including in government offices. It was even positioned behind President Trump when he gave one of his first speeches in office!
We must keep the fire of prayer going. We have made a shift, but America is not out of the woods yet! Government leaders are counting on us to keep praying! They have told me they can feel the difference when the church is praying and when it is not! Pray, Church, pray!
Points for Prayer:
Thank the Lord that America was founded in prayer and that Christ-honoring prayer is in the fabric of who we are as a nation.
Ask the Lord to stir passion for prayer up in you at a greater level.
Pray for the nation and its leaders today. You can go to whitehouse.gov, senate.gov, house.gov, supremecourt.gov, or many other government websites at the federal, state and local level to get information for prayer.
Worship the Lord over America. Worship and intercession go hand in hand.
Ask the Lord how to better connect with prayer groups at the local and national level. Start a group, if there are none in your church and/or community.
Use Joel 2:16 and call for the intercessors in the United States to rise up!
By, Dutch Sheets
President, Dutch Sheets Ministries