Exodus 33:12-23 (HCSB)
“Moses said to the Lord, “Look, You have told me, ‘Lead this people up,’ but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. You said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ (13) Now if I have indeed found favor in Your sight, please teach me Your ways, and I will know You and find favor in Your sight. Now consider that this nation is Your people.” (14) Then He replied, “My presence will go [with you], and I will give you rest.” (15) “If Your presence does not go,” Moses responded to Him, “don’t make us go up from here. (16) How will it be known that I and Your people have found favor in Your sight unless You go with us? I and Your people will be distinguished [by this] from all the other people on the face of the earth.” (17) The Lord answered Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.” (18) Then Moses said, “Please, let me see Your glory.” (19) He said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name • Yahweh before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (20) But He answered, “You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live.” (21) The Lord said, “Here is a place near Me. You are to stand on the rock, (22) and when My glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. (23) Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen.”
-Dwight L. Moody
I. PRAYING FOR AMERICA MUST BEGIN WITH AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHERE HER FREEDOM COMES FROM.
(13) Now if I have indeed found favor in Your sight, please teach me Your ways, and I will know You and find favor in Your sight. Now consider that this nation is Your people.”
A. America’s freedom comes from the Lord.
1. (2 Corinthians 3:17 HCSB) “ Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
2. (John 8:36 HCSB) “ Therefore if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.”
B. America’s freedom must be grounded in steadfast obedience to the Word of God.
1. (James 1:25 HCSB) “ But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who acts—this person will be blessed in what he does.”
2. ( John 8:32 HCSB) “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
II. PRAYING FOR AMERICA MUST BEGIN WITH THE RECOGNITION THAT THERE ARE ENEMIES THAT WILL DESTROY HER.
(14) Then He replied, “My presence will go [with you], and I will give you rest.” (15) “If Your presence does not go,” Moses responded to Him, “don’t make us go up from here.
A. Sin is an enemy that will destroy America.
1. (Proverbs 14:34 HCSB)
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
2. (Judges 2:11-14 HCSB) “The Israelites did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. They worshiped the Baals and abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods from the surrounding peoples and bowed down to them. They infuriated the Lord, for they abandoned Him and worshiped Baal and the Ashtoreths. The Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and He handed them over to marauders who raided them. He sold them to the enemies around them, so that they could no longer resist their enemies.”
B. Prayerlessness is an enemy that will destroy America.
1. (Ezekiel 22:30-31 HCSB) “I searched for a man among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one. So I have poured out My indignation on them and consumed them with the fire of My fury. I have brought their actions down on their own heads.” [This is] the declaration of the Lord God.”
2. God does nothing but in answer to prayer.
III. PRAYING FOR AMERICA MUST BEGIN WITH A TOTAL COMMITMENT OF OURSELVES TO CERTAIN THINGS:
(16) How will it be known that I and Your people have found favor in Your sight unless You go with us? I and Your people will be distinguished [by this] from all the other people on the face of the earth.” (17) The Lord answered Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.” (18) Then Moses said, “Please, let me see Your glory.”
A. The will of God being fulfilled in the world of men.
1. (Matthew 6:9-13 HCSB) “Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. • Amen.]”
B. The Will of God being done in our own lives.
1. (Psalms 119:45 HCSB) “ I will walk freely in an open place because I seek Your precepts.”
2. (Galatians 5:13 HCSB) “ For you are called to freedom, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.”
C. The Choice to return to God in the areas in which we have strayed.
1. (Jeremiah 2:21 HCSB) “ I planted you, a choice vine from the very best seed. How then could you turn into a degenerate, foreign vine?”
2. (Jeremiah 4:1-2 HCSB) “ If you return, Israel— [this is] the Lord’s declaration— [if] you return to Me, if you remove your detestable idols from My presence and do not waver, if you swear, As the Lord lives, in truth, in justice, and in righteousness, then the nations will be blessed by Him and will pride themselves in Him.”
3. (Jeremiah 24:7 HCSB) “ I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord. They will be My people, and I will be their God because they will return to Me with all their heart.”
D. The Prayer support of those who serve us in leadership of all arenas.
1. (1 Timothy 2:1-4 HCSB) “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
A clergyman from New York, during a call on President Lincoln at the White House said: "I have not come to ask any favors of you, Mr. President; I have only come to say that the loyal people of the North are sustaining you and will continue to do so. We are giving you all that we have, the lives of our sons as well as our confidence and our prayers. You must know that no boy's father or mother ever kneels in prayer these days without asking God to give you strength and wisdom."
His eyes brimming with tears, Mr. Lincoln replied:
"But for those prayers, I should have faltered and perhaps failed long ago. Tell every father and mother you know to keep on praying, and I will keep on fighting, for I know God is on our side."
As the clergyman started to leave the room, Mr. Lincoln held him by the hands and said: "I suppose I may consider this as sort of a pastoral call?" "Yes," replied the clergyman. "Out in our country," replied Lincoln, "when a parson makes a pastoral call, it was always the custom for the folks to ask him to lead in prayer, and I should like to ask you to pray with me today. Pray that I may have the strength and the wisdom."
The two men knelt side by side, and the clergyman offered the most fervent plea to Almighty God that ever fell from his lips. As they arose, the President clasped his visitor's hand and remarked in a satisfied sort of way: "I feel better."