Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stand in the Gap

Ezekiel 22:30 "So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one." This particular verse is undeniable proof that our prayers DO influence our God.

When God calls us to stand in the gap for our nation, who will he find? Have you given up on prayer and any possibility that your prayers might change our nation?

So many people are facing trials during this economic crisis. Yes, I called it a crisis ... because that's what it is. Of course, that's just my opinion. But, I'm a "common man" type of gal. I live in a very small town, you might say it is a symbol of Middle America or the Heartland of America. We have the local market, small factories, theater in the center of town (not the big, fancy Kerasotes), the drive-in theater at the edge of town and a church on every corner. I can drive to work and wave at pretty much every person I pass ... not just because I'm friendly but because I know those people by name. You're a celebrity on the front page of the newspaper in my town when you win best of show in the cattle judging at the local fair. In my estimation, that beats any front page news in any other town.

My small town is hurting. I feel it when I go to the grocery store, the theater, my church and my job. The economic situation is weighing down on all of us. I went to see a movie with my husband and oldest son last night. The theater down town was near empty. Families that did come weren't buying popcorn and sodas. That's a rarity here. Friday nights at the movies used to fill our theater.

When I stop at the grocery on my way home from work, I pass neighbors and friends who don't have much in their shopping cart. It's not because they aren't hungry or that they don't have a family to feed. It's because they can't afford to pay for their needs. One of the women I know through my job shared with me that she couldn't afford to buy a tomato for her husband. She stood at the local market holding a green tomato and wanting to buy it for her husband. He was craving a fried green tomato. She put it back and went home.

Factories in my town are closing, going under the pressure of an economy that doesn't have a heart for the common man this great nation was built upon. If the local factories aren't closing, they're downsizing. Layoffs are a common occurrence these days. Our men are forced to collect unemployment and sit waiting for a call back from the factory they helped to support. Sure, they look for jobs but there aren't any to be found.

Why is this happening? We could spend days pointing fingers at the Democrats or Republicans. In fact, we have spent days doing that very thing. Each day, the news is filled with our politicians laying blame at the opposing party. Blogs are filled with facts, numbers and names ... each person pointing at political leaders to explain how we got to the point of crisis. After all, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with us, the general public. You won't find that here in my blog. Today, I'm pointing the finger back at ... us.

I believe that God has lifted His protective hand from our nation. We have spent too many days living our own lives without care or concern for the product of our actions. We've become a nation filled with consumers looking for the next best thing to make them happy. All to often, we search for something that to fill the void in our heart and lives. Only to find that the void is a specific shape ... God shaped. Only God can fill the void in our lives. We can't fill it with material items. Sure, we might feel better for a while but soon we'll find that the next best thing really wasn't the best after all.

So, how do we face the trouble we're in? How do we survive the crisis of our economy? I believe that God is searching for men and women willing to stand in the gap and pray for our nation.
When He calls, where will you be?

I feel that Ezekiel 22:30 is profound. It lets us know that He wants to hear our prayers, He wants to save us from our corrupt nature. For me, the final words of this passage are convicting ... "But I found no one." In a nation built upon Christian values and the fact that there is one and only one God, surely He will not look and "find no one."

I challenge each of you to respond to His call with Isaiah 6:8 "Here am I! Send me."

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