9/11 is both a date to reflect on a national crisis as well as an emergency number to remind us to call on God in times of crisis. Since September 11, 2001, intercession for our nation and especially for another great awakening has definitely increased. In fact, groups of intercessors and prayer groups for revival have arisen among a variety of “circles” of God’s people, even among those who do not necessarily get along—proving that this prayer rise is not orchestrated by man, but by the Holy Spirit.
Having to live under the likes of Nero, Paul, under inspiration wrote, “I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Timothy 2:1-4).
Since the Scripture explicitly states God desires “all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” the prayer mentioned earlier “for all men” including “all that are in authority” implies praying for the salvation and spiritual growth of everyone including civic leaders. But when the text names political leaders, the Scripture exhorts believers to pray specifically: “for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” When Paul wrote these inspired words, the rulers were not godly people; yet this is how Paul exhorted God’s people to pray. Pray for national leaders so that they lead in a way with public policy that allows God’s people to love and serve God in an unhindered way. This directive is explicit. Yes, pray for the salvation of political leaders, but also pray for the political leaders to allow for Christians to live godly.
In the providence of God, Donald J. Trump is the president of the United States of America. God’s name has been favorably mentioned more by President Trump and Vice-President Pence in this first year of their administration than in any administration that I can remember. Prayer to God in Jesus’ name is often included at high level events. President Trump recently called for a National Day of Prayer to lead people to call on God in the time of need following the havoc wrought by Hurricane Harvey. Tragedies often reveal that it is time to seek the Lord. This is what ought to be do done—and it was. Now we are in another crisis with the effects of Hurricane Irma. While many on the liberal left continually bash our president, even though they are profiting greatly because of him, those who know the Lord must continually lift him up in prayer as 2 Timothy 2:1-4 states.
On this day as we remember the tragedy of September 11, 2001, may we remember to call on God for our nation! We need divine aid. The nation is sadly and markedly divided. But just as many of the divisions were overlooked when tragedy struck in 2001, and more recently with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, God has a way of awakening people to sensible priorities. One such means God has used is by sending seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord—mighty outpourings of the Spirit in revival and awakening. After the moral decline of the 1960s, God in His mercy sent a real season of spiritual refreshing in the 1970s. The Jesus Movement saw multitudes from the hippie movement turn to Christ. Calvary Chapel grew exponentially. The Southern Baptists forced theological liberals out of their seminaries—a turnaround nearly unprecedented in church history. The Independent Baptists went from small beginnings to having the largest church in the majority of states by the end of the decade. Many evangelical denominations grew in this time of harvest. All of this and more came through revival.
Decades later we are in need of another season of spiritual refreshing. Let’s let this 9/11 inspire us to call on God for the divine aid we need as a nation. May we remember God is the responder for 9/11 calls!
John Van Gelderen