Father, Forgive Us

By Randall A. Bach

There is something powerful about a body of people, even scattered, that unites in prayer for a common purpose. In my personal time of prayer I cover many points of need, such as individuals stricken by the virus, people who have lost their jobs, our President and other governmental and health officials, churches and pastors, vaccination and treatment breakthroughs, and more. 

I also feel strongly impressed by the Holy Spirit to pray for repentance on behalf of our nation. I am not someone who is quick to identify crises and calamities as judgments from God. Perhaps other people have direct revelations from God about that, but the Lord would have to make a declaration like that very clear to me. I will not conjure it up on his behalf.  

However, I definitely believe calamitous events or pandemics ought to call us to recognize and repent of how we have placed our confidence and trust in everything but Him. This is a condensed reconstruction of what I felt impressed by the Spirit to pray: 

Lord, forgive us for how far we have fallen away from You as a nation. So much of the foundation upon which we stand as a nation today was dedicated to a recognition of and dependence upon your sovereignty and provision. But now we place trust in our economy, our investments, our individualism, our recreational pursuits, and even celebration of and freedom to pursue base and vile desires. We have lost our sense of accountability to You. We ignore or show contempt for a day of reckoning and either believe in the universal inevitability of heaven as a destination or demonstrate contempt that heaven and hell even exist.

But Lord, when something like this pandemic suddenly descends upon our nation, many hearts are filled with anxiety and even fear. Our contemporary foundation of self-exaltation and prideful independence is shaken. We are unnerved by uncertainties and unsettled by our loss of control. We are troubled over how those things upon which we have placed our trust and confidence can so quickly crumble. O Lord, we cry out in repentance for this country that we love so much. We pray that this pandemic will be a wake-up call concerning priorities, self-reliance, and distance from You. 

Thank you for your mercy and grace. Forgive us for presuming upon those. We pray for healing over our nation, not just from a pandemic but also for what a pandemic reveals about us. As the psalmist declared, in You we take our refuge (Psalm 91).    

Will you join me in this prayer? 

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