Dear Christian Sisters & Brothers,
While in Washington, DC this morning. my friend Kathi and I prayed for you, the people of the United States, to be healed—not from COVID-19 but from bitterness and unforgiveness.
Why? Because our country is full of anger and bitterness. For our country’s circumstances to change, we need to forgive and be set free.
John F. Kennedy famously said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Right now, what you can do for your country is worship God and then pray for this country’s people.
Let that sink in.
Abraham Lincoln, when faced with the Southern states seceding, put keeping our country in union above all else because he did not want our country to perish. Looking at our roles in World Wars 1 and 2, we can see how we benefitted by being in union.
When Pres. Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” he reflected what Jesus said in Mark 3:25.
If we are to not perish,* then we need to not be divided. To not be divided we, the people, need to not be full of anger or bitterness for each other. Therefore, pray for the people to let go of anger and bitterness.
Pray that we, the people, forgive others to let go of our anger.
Pray that we, the people, forgive others to let go of all bitterness.
Pray that we, the people, do not let any new root of bitterness take hold (see Hebrews 12:14-15).
Freedom. When we release our anger and bitterness, we are freed!
Start by freeing yourself. Forgive whomever angers you right now. Name your bitterness, identify whom you hold responsible for “the reason” behind your bitterness, and forgive him or her. Then ask God to bless those you forgave.
Once you are freed from bitterness and anger, then pray that others do the same for we cannot effectively pray for others to receive what we do not ourselves possess (James 5:16). Start with your own family. Then your church family. Then your communities—workplaces, neighborhoods, and friends.
May this nation, under God, have a new birth of freedom* in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!
This week, in Worship to End Abortion: Your Prayer Guide, we are reading “Forgive and Be Set Free” and then forgiving others through prayer. Get your copy of the prayer guide and join us in spirit. (For those of you on Facebook, join us in the Worship to End Abortion private group.)
President Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, said, “It is for us, the living… to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us… That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”