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If My People...

Concerted, corporate prayer stirs the heart of God

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Publish Date: 
Mon, 09/01/2008
If My People...

When Winston Churchill became prime minister of Britain in May 1940 he observed that the world was staring "into the abyss of a new Dark Age." In less than six weeks Nazi armored divisions had swept virtually unopposed through Norway, Denmark, Holland and Belgium and had hopelessly encircled the remaining Allied fighting force in the small French fishing port of Dunkirk.

On May 23, 1940 - barely two weeks after Churchill took office more than 400,000 British and French soldiers were trapped on the shores of northern France a sitting target for the relentless German artillery and airborne bombing campaign that had been dispatched to finish them off. It was on that day that leading politicians and newspaper editors joined with King George VI to issue a call for a national day of prayer to be held on the following Sunday, May 26.

The effect was dramatic. Within 24 hours, Hitler inexplicably ordered his infantry forces to halt their advance, while the heavy sands and tides absorbed the brunt of the Nazi shelling. And two days later, as millions of Britons gathered in churches across the nation to pray for their husbands, sons and fathers at Dunkirk an order was issued for all seaworthy craft to make the treacherous voyage across the English Channel to rescue the stranded troops.

During the nine days that followed 338,000 soldiers were rescued in the fog by a flotilla of private yachts, cruisers, fishing boats and ferries. Although 30,000 lost their lives and 34,000 were eventually captured by the advancing Nazi brigades, the evacuation of Dunkirk became one of the most significant turning points of World War II, ensuring that the bulk of the British army lived on to fight another day. Despite taking pains to remind a jubilant House of Commons on June 4 that "wars are not won by evacuations," even Churchill conceded that what took place on the shores of France was "a miracle of deliverance."

The lesson of Dunkirk is clear. Concerted, intentional, corporate prayer stirs the hand of God and opens the doors for His intervention in our lives and in our world.

Today, we stand on the threshold of a different kind of crisis. Gripped by economic uncertainty at home and war abroad, America is at a crossroads as it heads towards a presidential election this fall. Israel too finds itself in a similar predicament facing an acute crisis of leadership even as Iran edges ever closer towards the nuclear threshold.

"If My people," the Lord promised King Solomon after he dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem, "who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven , and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).

This may be a familiar passage of scripture, but history testifies to its truth, not just in the experience of Britain at Dunkirk, but time and again throughout the centuries whenever God's people have joined together to seek His face.

   British and French troops brave aerial bombardment and artillery fire as they board boats to freedom on the Beach of Dunkirk in June 1940   

With just a few short weeks left before the presidential election on November 4, 2008 - there has rarely been a more appropriate time to fast and pray for this nation; that our new president would use his influence wisely in defending Israel and in promoting liberty and justice around the world.

That's why we are asking the ICEJ family here in the United States to commit to setting time aside on each of the remaining Tuesdays leading up to November 4 to fast and pray for God's mercy on our nation and on the outcome of the race for the White House.

Learn more about ongoing ICEJ Prayer Campaigns »


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