In the Book of Ecclesiastes there is a passage that speaks of there being a time for everything under the sun:
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…”
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There comes a time in the life of a nation when the people of God are to embrace Him in intercession for that nation’s survival, but there also exists a time for the people of God to refrain from embracing Him in intercessory prayer on behalf of that nation. That time comes when the nation’s sin has reached such epic and dark proportions that the only remedy (the repentance and the return of the nation to Godly living and pursuits) has been passed by, and the only remaining solution to ending the growth of the enormous mountain of sin is for God Himself to take drastic measures.
The time to cease our embrace of God in intercession for our nation has NOT yet come! It is STILL the time to pray, it is still the time to embrace the Lord our God in intercession on behalf of our nation. Even though our nation’s sins are growing and multiplying, though our unforgiven sin is accumulating before the eyes of God like an enormous mountain of diseased, putrefying slime that is drawing close to being equal to the pre-flood days of Noah, it is STILL the time for God’s followers to engage in national intercession.
Jeremiah knew when it was time to cease intercession for his own nation, not by his observations and measurements of the level of sin, but by hearing from the Lord directly when the time had come to cease his reaching out to God, that Divine correction had already been initiated.
“Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me, for I will not hear you.”
~ Jeremiah 7:16
However, since our time for national intercession on behalf of America is still here, let’s look at what the intercession was that Jeremiah had been engaged in, and that remains our most powerful method for bringing life, liberty, and the pursuit of God back into our society.
In the scripture quoted above, to “make intercession” is translated from the Hebrew word paga’:
- Defined as: To reach; to meet someone; to pressure or urge someone strongly; to meet up with a person; to encounter or to plead with someone; to storm a person with urgent petitions.
- The idea behind “make intercession” is that an activist catches up with a superior, and reaches them with an urgent request.
- Thus, intercession involves reaching out to God, meeting with God, and pleading Him for favor. Put another way, it is the storming of heaven by godly activists on behalf of God’s will.
The favor for which we are embracing and pleading God to bestow upon our nation is Mercy, Forgiveness, and Revival.
- Mercy delays the Divine punishment or judgement for a brief period of time thus allowing us an opportunity to repent;
- Forgiveness removes our individual sin-guilt when we individually ask for His forgiveness; and
- Revival is the regeneration and healing of the human heart, mind, and spirit for living a new life with God.
It still is NOT too late for America to receive the mercy, forgiveness, and revival that God so desperately wants to rain down upon us. The time is still NOW for embracing God in intercession for our nation. God has NOT yet sounded the warning that it is too late, and to not bother praying and interceding for America.
This gives us hope, but the nation’s clock is still ticking and the nation’s (our!) sin-guilt is still mounting. Let each of us draw near to God, let each of us embrace Him as a child would embrace their father in times of great need, let each of us pray and intercede with genuine passion and great fervency while we embrace Him.