Prayer and Fasting: The Spiritual Atom Bomb the World Needs
After the horrific genocide in Rwanda 19 years ago, the Time magazine cover of May 16, 1994 read, “There are no devils left in hell.”
It was the next year in the encyclical Evangelium Vitae when Blessed John Paul II popularized the term “culture of death,” declaring that “we are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the ‘culture of death’ and the ‘culture of life.’”
Every day we see news items further validating the fact that our nation – and our world – is straying further and further from God and His Laws. Evil is running rampant, the most recent example of which is the mind-numbing terrorist attack in Boston.
In this wicked culture of death that has released all the devils in Hell, God is the only answer. We can regulate, control, prosecute, and legislate all we want…it won’t solve anything if we keep shoving God out of it.
To bring God back to the forefront of the debate, WorldNetDaily (WND) founder Joseph Farah has recently called for a nationwide day of prayer, fasting, and humility on September 11, 2013. He says, “What I was hoping to trigger with this sincere and desperate plea was national action. My concern was that five months to mobilize millions to drop business as usual for a day, get on our collective knees and seek God’s forgiveness for turning away from Him was not enough time.”
The response has been overwhelming. Americans are in tune with the Creator and know they won’t find any earthly panacea for the nation’s ills. They are embracing the call to pray and fast, just as our nation’s predecessors did because, as Farah’s original column pointed out, when “America’s founders faced challenges, they often had the wisdom and insight to call for a national day of prayer and fasting.”
Prior to the nation’s founding, the Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending “a day of public humiliation, fasting, and prayer” be observed on July 20, 1775.
During the Quasi-War with France, President John Adams did likewise by declaring May 9, 1798, as “a day of solemn humility, fasting, and prayer,” during which citizens of all faiths were asked to pray that our country “may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it.”
On March 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation expressing the idea “that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins” and designated the day of April 30, 1863, as a day of “national humiliation, fasting and prayer” in the hope that God would respond by restoring “our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.”
The National Day of Prayer was in fact created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. It was later amended to stipulate that its annual observance be held on the first Thursday of May, with the two stated intentions being that it should be a day when adherents of all great religions could unite in prayer and that it may one day bring renewed respect for God to all the peoples of the world. A Senate report states as part of the rationale for the law that prayers were conducted at the Constitutional Convention, which adopted the U.S. Constitution: “When the delegates to the Constitutional Convention encountered difficulties in the writing and formation of a Constitution for this Nation, prayer was suggested and became an established practice at succeeding sessions.”
Americans used to fully embrace the tenet that we are “one nation under God” and the awesome responsibilities that come with that, but we have increasingly lost our way. And it is past time to ask for forgiveness.
As Farah wrote, “God’s Word tells us in 2 Chronicles 7:14: ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ We’ve got our instructions. God is waiting on us to act – His people. He’s not waiting on the whole world to act. He’s not waiting on a majority of Americans to act. He’s waiting on us – his children, his followers, his believers.”
In a column for Campus Crusade for Christ, Bill Bright echoed Farah’s sentiments by saying, “I believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb that our Lord has given us to destroy the strongholds of evil and usher in a great revival and spiritual harvest around the world.”
Scripture has taught us the same. It is almost imperative that we embrace the sacrifice of praying and fasting each month, each week, each day if we are able. Let us take a cue from the secular and spiritual leaders of the past to carry our cross in order to transform this demonic culture of death and restore the culture of life as Jesus intended.
Because of the overall response by email now from thousands of Americans, Farah is asking supporters of the idea to register their intent to participate and to help spread the plan virally here.
“This is a matter between God and His people,” Farah emphasizes. “Will we follow His command and accept His promise to forgive our sin and heal our land? How can we choose otherwise?”
Written by Elizabeth Hermesch