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At Bible study last night, we spent some time in that often overlooked little book of Amos. As is our custom, we then spent some time in prayer.
What follows is a (hopefully) more coherent version of what I was stirred to pray, this verse still in my heart:
Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD,
For what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you?
It will be darkness and not light; (Amos 5:18)
Father, like your people in Zimbabwe who thank you for their dictator, Robert Mugabe, I thank you.
I thank you for 9/11 and the chaos it created in our country.
I thank you for Hurricane Katrina and the frailty of man’s plans that it revealed.
I thank you for the financial crisis and the meaninglessness of money that it exposed.
I thank you for the BP oil spill that has shown us how weak we are.
I thank you that our government has become corrupt from top to bottom.
I thank you that the apostate church in America has been left bereft of your Holy Spirit.
I thank you that the evil in our society is growing more blatant by the day.
I thank you for these, and all the other trials and testings that are befalling our nation, and I pray that they will make us humble. I pray that many people will turn to You in their hour of need. I pray that Christians will be prepared – and have the boldness – to speak the truth to all who seek You.
And I pray especially, Lord, for those who have been deceived by a false gospel; for those who believe they know You, but don’t; for those who think that political action leads to heaven; for those who think they will enter Your kingdom because of the good things they have done; for those who long for the day of the Lord, but will find darkness instead of light; and for those who call You ‘Lord’ – that You have never known.
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being cast out. (Luke 13:23-28)