The Shortest Prayers (Shepherd’s Echo)

[The Shepherd’s Echo is a reposting of a previously published TheShepherdsPen.]

“God Bless America.” How many times throughout the day is this phrase uttered in the nation? A sacred entreaty to the Sovereign of the universe, the Giver of life, the eternal God. It is a prayer pleading for God’s help, for His direction, for His protection. We are asking for Him to make His presence known through an affirmative response. Yet, action after action seeks to reject God and remove Him from the fabric of the United States, a nation founded upon the God and fundamentals of the Bible. We have driven prayer out of the schools, and wonder why God doesn’t seem to be there, and why discipline is such an issue. We insist on the removal of the Ten Commandments from courthouses and are amazed at the level of rebellion in the land. We abort millions of lives annually and still have the nerve to ask God to bless our lives. Our nation, founded by God-fearing people is quickly becoming a nation of atheists.

There is an old saying; “There are no atheists in a foxhole.” This was no more apparent than in 2001 after the World Trade Center bombings. The Sunday following and for several months, churches were filled with concerned, fearful and grieving congregants. They were seeking to be comforted, consoled, healed. They were looking for answers, and God seemed the only Person from whom to seek answers. Gradually, as confidence came back, those large numbers of attendees diminished until numbers were back to pre-911 “normal” levels. The strategy seemed to be the same, we ask for God’s help, but only until we think we can “handle it.” After we have things under control, we want God to be scarce.

When we actually do cry out to God, and He doesn’t answer the way we want Him to, we ask, “Where is God?” or “Where was God when we needed Him most?” as though He were a genie who should yield to our every desire. The truth is He has blessed the United States abundantly, but we seldom if ever give Him credit. Do we really think we can expect continued mercy and blessing from the God we have ignored and openly defied as a nation? In typical fashion we act as though we are entitled to every blessing. Shouldn’t the request be, “America, Bless God”?

Yes, perhaps the concern should not be how a powerful and loving God can continue to bless an unappreciative nation. Rather, should not the question be, “How can the Unites States be a blessing to God?” However, if we are going to ask that question, we had better be prepared for the answer. I have a feeling that God may ask that we put Him back in our schools and textbooks. That we recognize Him in our courts, legislative, and executive branches. That our nation respects the life of the unborn. That we bring our children up in the fear of the Lord, revering His name. That His Holy Name be lifted up in praise and worship, rather than in vain. That we obey His Word. Is that too much to ask of a nation that has been blessed above all others?

God’s hand of protection has been upon us for some time now, but I wonder how long we can expect our prosperity to continue if we don’t have a change of heart. We may still have time. Today would be a great time to begin living for Him again. Life is a gift that God gives to bless us; the way we live it is how we bless God. Try to figure out how you can bless Him today!

Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.”