National Revival Requires Humility and Prayer

Photo by Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Our country needs a time of national revival.  I was shocked, as I’m sure you were, by the attack on the Capitol Building on Wednesday, January 6.  I wasn’t happy with the results of the national election in 2016 but it never occurred to me to try to overthrow the government because of it.  Even though the Democrats consistently lose elections they won by the majority of the popular vote because of the electoral college.

I sometimes get angry or disappointed by the results of elections.  But, until recently, I always thought our government, with its balance of power, was strong enough to survive.  I see the mob entering the Capitol Building as the biggest challenge to democracy, perhaps in the history of our country.  The reaction to the Capitol Building assault continues to give me hope as it was almost universally denounced.

On the morning of January 6, some Christians whose faith I respect, posted things on Facebook asking for us to pray that God’s will would be done.  I can always get behind praying for God’s will, although I suspect they were asking for the election results to be overturned.  If I think that others are really open to God’s will, and not just praying for their own will, then I am ready to join in.

The problem is that we can’t pray for God’s will and then support mobs attacking the Capitol Building.  In any prayer for God’s will there has to be a sense of humility.  I may not, with my limited understanding, comprehend God’s will.  Abortion is absolutely wrong, but is it better to make abortion illegal or to give women access to birth control and viable ways to support the children they have?  Riots and violence are wrong but peaceful protests need to be part of our democratic options.  What is God’s will when unarmed, peaceful black people continue to be killed by the police officers who are supposed to protect them?

In order to have a national revival we have to seek the will of God and be open to it.  We have to be humble and admit that we don’t have all the answers.  In fact, we may not even understand the questions.  We have to pray and seek God’s will and remain open to others with different opinions.  Just as they need to be open to us.

British Evangelist “Gipsy” Smith said this about the way to start a revival.  “Take a piece of chalk, and draw a circle on the floor.  Then step inside the circle and pray, “Lord, send a revival inside this circle.””  The same idea as a song of my generation, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

God is calling us to a time of national revival.  But in order to be revived, to have new strength and energy as a nation, we need to humble ourselves before God.  We must turn away from arrogance and believing that we know what is right for everyone.  Listening to God and others and returning to the idea of loving our neighbors as ourselves are necessary.  Humility and prayer are the only things that can lead us into the change that we need.