Standing In The Gap
“Son of man, say to her, ‘You are a land that is not clean or rained on in the day of indignation.’ There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her. Her priests have done violence to My Law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have closed their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am defiled among them. Her leaders within her are like wolves tearing the prey, by shedding blood and destroying lives in order to make dishonest profit. And her prophets have coated with whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘This is what the Lord God says,’ when the Lord has not spoken. The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery, and they have oppressed the poor and needy, and have oppressed the stranger without justice. I searched for a man among them who would build up a wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one. So I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; I have brought their way upon their heads,” declares the Lord God." (Ezekiel 22:24-31 NASB)
During one of Israel’s times of apostasy, the Lord made those statements through the prophet Ezekiel. The sins mentioned are grievous, but the statements in verses 30-31 are also quite sobering. As a just and holy God, the Lord cannot ignore sin. He has, however, told us that we can stand in the gap for those who have sinned, asking for His mercy.
In my book, Intercessory Prayer, I address the subject of why God waits for humans to ask Him before He moves on earth. It has to do with His decision to work on earth through humankind, not independently of them. For whatever reasons, it seems that this was an immutable decision, so much so that it demanded the incarnation of Christ.
God knows our needs before we ask, but we must ask. He desires to save people more than we want Him to, yet He needs us to ask Him to send laborers into the harvest (Matthew 9:37-38). The great intercessor and teacher, Gordan Lindsay, once said that God never asked us to pray for anything that would automatically occur, such as the sun to rise, or gravity to operate. These are laws He has established that operate regardless of our actions. He did, however, ask us to pray for laborers, for His Kingdom to come, and His will to be done on earth (Matthew 6:10). They are NOT automatic; we must ask for them.
In this Ezekiel passage, God tells us that in His mercy, He wanted to spare Israel from the judgment they deserved, and would have had appropriate intercession occurred. Tragically, He found no one to do so and, therefore, had to release devastating judgment.
I mention this to emphasize that God WILL honor our repentance and intercession on behalf of our nation. There are other passages in Scripture where God did find a person or persons to repent for Israel, and He responded with mercy. Moses interceded for Israel, and God said He had pardoned them according to Moses’ words (Numbers 14:20). Nehemiah repented for the sins of Israel and God honored this (Nehemiah 1:4-11). Daniel repented for the sins of Israel, interceding for their restoration, and God did so (Daniel 9:1-19).
We can repent for the sins of our nation and believe that God will respond with cleansing and healing. Many leaders are doing so today in our nation's capital. If you are reading this early enough and can join us today by livestream, please do. To do so, text the word “prayer” to 67742 or go to NGPR.org. The activities will begin at 7:30 AM Eastern Time and finish around 1:00 PM. However, we can all join our hearts in repentance on this post.
1. Father, we repent for the shedding of innocent blood, for the sin of over 60 million abortions. This has occurred because we lost our love of children and family, placing ourselves above all else. This opened the door to the spirit of murder and violence, and we now experience thousands of murders and horrific violence in our nation. Please forgive and cleanse our land, freeing us from the curses the shedding of innocent blood has brought upon us.
2. We repent for pride, rebellion, and breaking covenant with You in government. In pride and arrogance, our government has chosen to usurp Your authority, reject Your Word, and remove Your influence from their actions. They have honored sin and immorality while rejecting Your moral laws. Those in our government had the audacity to believe they could redefine Your most sacred covenant, marriage. Our government removed You from our schools, and many have tried to remove Your influence from every aspect of our government. We have allowed injustice to enter our government, shape our laws, influence our courts, and the political spirit now dominates. We repent for these and the many other evils of our government.
3. We repent for the idolatry in our nation. We promote and celebrate many gods and religions, worshiping demons, idols, pleasure, mammon, and our own selves. We even deny Your role in birthing our nation. We repent for this idolatry, and ask You to cleanse our nation.
4. We repent for the gross immorality in our land. We have cast off all restraint and now have rampant fornication, adultery, homosexuality, pornography, pedophilia, and other sexual sins. We lie, cheat, steal, covet, hate, abuse others, and are filled with drunkenness and addictions. Please forgive and cleanse us for these and other immoral actions against You and our fellow man.
5. And we repent for the condition of the American church. We have allowed the spirit of religion to replace our relationship with You. We have grown lukewarm, losing our passion and first love. We have compromised truth, refusing to speak against the sins of our nation. We have watered down the message of repentance and the Cross, thereby losing the power of the gospel. We have allowed legalism, doctrines, competition, and pride to divide us. We lost our saver and the power to preserve, and are no longer the light You need us to be. Please forgive us for these compromises and evils.
We pray for the gathering in Washington, D.C., today. Lead and direct those who repent for our nation. May our humility be deep, our repentance be heartfelt, and our hearts contrite before You. Use this day of repentance to save America. We pray this in Yeshua’s name. Amen.
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