Standing in the Gap for Our Nation
It seems like these last two weeks have been an opportunity for many of us to take a “timeout.” We evaluate the true state of our nation as we wait helplessly for the COVID-19 plague to abate. For two days during this time our cable and internet were out. I really had time to pray and meditate on the things that were currently taking place. Even with this extra time, I realized I was not nearly as faithful in my prayers as this time warrants for believers in Christ. I found that it is still very easy to get distracted from the truly important things. However, I press on.
There are true heroes in our faith that show us examples of how to stand in the gap for our nation. These are people who fasted, prayed, and repented on behalf of their nations when they saw that their people had wandered far from God. These are people who stood up and took leadership roles in interceding on behalf of those they loved. Some of these include: Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Esther, Nehemiah, and Ezra. These are the people who inspire me in my faith.
Abortion During COVID-19
In case you happen to be one of the naysayers that doubts our country’s departure from the commandments of God, let me give you two examples. The first is that despite social distancing regulations and regulations to stop all elective surgeries because of the shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment) and ventilators, abortion clinics around the nation are still operating on a full-steam basis. From my knowledge, there is only one U.S. Governor (Greg Abbott) who is enforcing these regulations in his state with abortion clinics. It still had to go through both a federal court that blocked his ban and then the Fifth Circuit court that upheld his ban.
This means that while we say we are advocating for every life against COVID-19, we continue to slay the unborn. We utilize essential products that could keep our healthcare workers safe during this pandemic in which we find ourselves. At the time of this writing, the daily death toll from abortion in terms of babies killed still exceeds the daily death toll from COVID-19. How far we have fallen as a nation! How skewed are these priorities?
Samaritan’s Good Works
The second example I would give is of Samaritan’s Purse setting up Medical tents and services in New York to assist with the crisis there. They have now set up a sixty-bed emergency field hospital to treat severely ill people with the COVID-19 virus. Samaritan’s Purse has done exceptional work for decades. Despite this, some people in New York appealed to Governor Cuomo to make them leave because of perceived bigotry.
This perceived bigotry is based on statements that Franklin Graham has made about marriage only being between a man and a woman. It’s also based on his statements that Islam is a religion that seeks to destroy Christianity and its tenets. Opponents to Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse also fear that they will try to proselytize patients, instead of merely treating their illness. Andrew Walker, a professor at Southern Baptist Seminary tweeted about this harassment. He said, “Cultural decadence is allowing intersectionality to determine acceptability of emergency response.” Much of our nation has lost sight of the fact that God is the One who has protected us and blessed us in so many ways.
Stand Up and Be Counted
These truths are beyond comprehension. Therefore, I would submit, that is is well past the time for followers of Christ to stand up and be counted. This is an intense spiritual battle and we need to fight it on our knees like never before. And, God has even allowed many of our distractions to be removed like school, sports, shopping, entertainment, and restaurants to assist us in this pursuit.
God is good, and He is just, and He will honor our prayers. If we put Him first during this time, it is my belief that COVID-19 will be defeated and He will be glorified. In many ways, President Trump is trying to honor God by praying, seeking spiritual counsel, and calling for a national day to pray for our country. These are all honorable things, but our president also needs to be supported by the prayers of the people during this crucial period of time. It is my prayer that God will raise up the Elijah’s, Jeremiah’s, Daniel’s, Esther’s, Nehemiah’s, and Ezra’s in our land to stand in the gap, too.
When Daniel prayed the prayer mentioned above, He did not pray for a few hours or even for a day. No, he persisted and persisted for three weeks until the Lord responded to his prayers. He repented on behalf of himself and on behalf of his people. He touched God’s heart and God even sent Michael, the archangel, to appear to Daniel and respond to what he had prayed. Michael showed Daniel what was to come for both Israel and the Israelites, not just in their generation but through the end of time on earth.
What God was accomplishing through Daniel was bigger than Daniel probably understood at that time. Daniel went on to prophesy what Michael had shown him about what will happen prophetically for Israel in the last days. That means that every generation subsequent to Daniel has been blessed by the revelation God gave to him.
A Critical Time
We are at a critically important juncture of time. We must repent on behalf of the sins in our nation. We must also confess the things we know to be true according to God’s word. Confession literally means that we come into agreement with the things that God is saying. And, we can know what He is speaking to us by reading the Bible and spending time in prayer and in His presence.
As a people and as a nation, we have been abundantly blessed. That is one thing I realize in greater measure today because of COVID-19. We have daily freedoms that many nations will never comprehend. They are given to us so that we can use them to advance God’s kingdom on earth. It is my prayer that we will allow our current circumstances to change us for the better and to draw us closer to the heart of God.
This week, I want to encourage you to read the prayer in Daniel, Chapter 9, and pray that prayer over your family and our nation. Also, read Nehemiah’s prayer in Chapter 9 and do the same. We desperately need a revival in this land, and it must first start with the followers of Christ. If we step up right now in this season, it is my belief that we will see God do amazing things!
Julie Boles, MSN, WHNP has over 30 years of experience in women’s health care. Julie regularly writes at her blog Jewels and Gems. She is also a trained facilitator for the post-abortive counseling program Surrendering the Secret, and volunteers at Portico, the pro-life pregnancy center in her hometown. She and her husband, Brent, make their home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Originally published April 5, 2020 at Jewels and Gems. Republished with permission.