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As nation turns 240, prayer is much needed
Guest Column
Mike Riddle

On Monday, our country celebrated her 240th birthday. With all of the celebrations, many groups sang “God Bless America.”

As Americans, we fortunately can say we are blessed by God. Few nations enjoy the freedoms and prosperity that we have. But in just over 50 years, our country has made many decisions that directly conflict with God’s word. So we are rapidly becoming a nation that does not deserve God’s blessings.  

In 1962, our Supreme Court outlawed prayer in public schools. One year later, the court decided that the Bible could no longer be read to students in public schools.

In 1969, California became the first state to approve “no fault” divorces, allowing men and women to end their marriages simply because they wanted to. Most people today don’t even know that at one time, there had to be a specific reason to end a marriage. As a result, marriage as God intended it has become the exception to the rule, replaced by the stepfamily. The number of divorces has dropped in recent years. That isn’t because people are staying married, but because many unmarried couples live together — another blow to our country’s morality.

In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that abortions were legal and the right of women. Since then, more than 60 million babies have been killed by abortion.  

Fortunately, there have been many local and state decisions that have reinforced godly behavior over the years, but regrettably, most were changed at the national level.  

Just one year ago, the Supreme Court struck down the true definition of marriage between a man and a woman and legalized same-sex marriages.

Our country has also begun penalizing those few Christians who take a stand for their godly beliefs by them being ostracized, fined and even incarcerated.

And finally, for most of the past century, our country was Israel’s biggest supporter. But in recent years, we have at best shown lukewarm support for God’s chosen people.

These are just a few of the ways our country has shunned God. Knowing this, the question has to be asked: Does a country that allows this and more really deserve to be blessed by God? I say that as a nation, we don’t appear to deserve many of his blessings anymore, but fortunately, he has showed his grace and still is blessing us.

We as Christians can sit here and point fingers at others all day long. But the question also has to be asked: Are we doing all that we can to deserve God’s blessings? On Sunday, do we put our best suit on, inside and out, and go to church while living a lie for the rest of the week? Do we act like everyone else at work, laughing at dirty jokes, talking about the boss and stealing from our employer by our lack of productivity?  

As Christian men, are we setting the example for our families by praying, studying the Bible, working in the church, living godly lives and being the consistent servant leaders that God calls us to be? Likewise, Christian women, are you doing these same things, but also not gossiping about your friends, lifting your husband up and recognizing him as the leader in your home, even when you disagree with him?  

Church members, are we attending worship for the right reasons, or is it just a club we go to on Sunday morning? Do we really desire to bring all kinds of lost people into our church, or just those that look like us? Are we working in the church and supporting its programs, or are we among the 90 percent who do only 10 percent of the work and drop our kids off so we can get a break from them? Do we support our pastor all the time, or do we get angry if he doesn’t shake our hand on Sunday or doesn’t give us all of the attention we think we deserve?

Pastors, are you preaching all of the Bible, or just the parts that won’t make your congregation mad? Are you treating all of your congregation the same, or showing favoritism to your friends, the big tithers and those charter families who have been in your church for generations?

The Bible says that those who support God’s chosen people, obey God, give to others, trust him and seek wisdom from him will be blessed.

We are coming up short as a nation in all of these areas because of sin. But the Bible also says that if Christians humble themselves, pray to God, do his will and stop doing evil things in their lives, he will hear their prayers, forgive their sins and heal their land. It’s time for our nation to elect leaders who will wholeheartedly support Israel, and it’s also time for us Christians to get our act together. If both of these don’t happen, we can’t expect God to heal our country.

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