“Could you not keep watch with Me for one hour?” [Jesus] asked… “Watch and pray so that you will not fall…”
Anne Graham Lotz called for women across America to pray on Pentecost Sunday, an effort backed by her brother, Franklin Graham.
“It feels as though our nation is unraveling,” Lotz said. “While a heavy burden in my spirit has prompted me to issue this prayer call, the senseless killings in Minnesota and Georgia seem to be visible evidence that we are in serious trouble.”
Sunday evening, she got down on her knees and prayed the following:
Dear Lord God of Pentecost
You are the One who promised You would not leave us like orphans, but that You would come to us in fullness of power and peace! (John 14:18; Acts 1:8). And on Pentecost over 2,000 years ago, You did! You kept Your promise! You poured out Your Spirit on all people. On that great day when the church was born, Your Word says that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:17, 21).
So now we—women, who have called on Your name; we, who are saved by the blood of Jesus and indwelt by Your Holy Spirit–we bow before You acknowledging Your greatness and Your glory. No one compares to You. No one is Your equal. “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there” (Isaiah 40:25-26; Psalm 139:7-8). There is nowhere in all the Universe where You are not. Surely Your arm “… is not too short to save, nor [Your] ear too dull to hear” (Isaiah 59:1).
We, women saved by the Lord, bow in worship before You. Like Mary of old, we pour out upon You our “perfume” of adoration and time as we spend this hour in humility at Your throne (John 12:3).
We Turn to You
So many people are desperately afraid! We admit and honestly confess there are times when we, too, are swamped by a wave of apprehension and fear. What kind of future is our nation facing? We are being attacked by an invisible enemy—a virus so contagious it threatens everyone, everywhere. And at the same time that we wear masks, keep a social distance and wash our hands, we are also battling record-breaking floods, tornadoes, and storms while isolated, locked down, and separated from friends and family. We shudder when we also consider what’s happening not only personally, but that which is taking place politically, racially and economically to our beloved nation. We are in chaos.
Help us to regain our focus. We are grandmothers, wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters who hold a unique position to motivate, inspire, direct, and guide those in our homes, churches and neighborhoods. If we take our eyes off of You, we dread to think of the rippling impact on others. We choose to turn to Jesus. Now!
Jesus, did You not say, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me”? Did You not say, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”? (Matthew 28:18, 20). Does Your Word not say that God placed all things under Your feet and appointed You to be head over everything? (Ephesians 1:22).
We turn to You. You are called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). You are Lord of the nations, the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth (Colossians 1:15-17). No one can understand Your ways. “Are You not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You” (2 Chronicles 20:6).
We Trust You
As we turn to You, we acknowledge that we were established as one nation under God. Have we not pledged, “In God We Trust?” Yet we find ourselves constantly bombarded with the shrill voices of those who demand we distance ourselves from You; they say that You are just one of many gods, if You are a god at all; they warn that we cannot risk offending each other by calling on Your name … Jesus. We hear the enemy insinuating that You are “not fixing this” because You can’t fix this. That You are somehow outdated. Irrelevant. Our faith is being assaulted. It seems obvious. The root of our national problems is sin. Rebellion against You. Defiance of You.
And so our spirits rise up within us and throw off the smothering cloak of spiritual oppression and political correctness. We shout Your name. You are Yahweh. Jehovah—the personal God (John 20:28). The great I AM—the eternal God (John 8:58). The All-mighty—the Powerful God (Matthew 28:18). You are Jesus. Savior. Immanuel (Matthew 1:23). God with us, never to leave or forsake us. Your power has not been diluted or depleted over the ages. You are just as powerful … just as much in authority … as You were in Creation; in the deliverance of Your people from Egypt and in the parting of the Red Sea. You are the One who sends down the fire (2 Chronicles 7:1). Who fells the giants (1 Samuel 17:1-50). Who makes wars to cease (Psalm 46:9). Who raises the dead! (2 Kings 4:1-37; Luke 7:11-16; 8:40-42, 49-56; Ephesians 1:17-21).
As we turn to You, we choose to place our trust in You.
If “… the kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord,” (Psalm 2:2) we trust in You.
If “… the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging,” (Psalm 46:2-3) we trust in You.
Though “… nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall …” (Psalm 46:6) we trust in You. When “… the wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright…” (Psalm 37:14) we trust in You.
We trust You. We trust You! …
We Confess to You
Now arise, O Lord Jesus Christ. Have You not wondered that there were no intercessors for your people? (Isaiah 59:16). Look on us, women who are followers of You, now. Please. We are interceding. We, Your people who are called by Your name. Listen to us as we cry out to You on behalf of our nation. Do not reject us. Have pity on us as we stand in the gap on behalf of our land (Ezekiel 22:30).
We feel the encroaching evil. Darkness and gloom are descending. Those who hate us are infiltrating us. Those who are dedicated to destroying us are all around us. Are You at the head of this army? Is this the beginning of the Day of the Lord? (Joel 1:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:2). Have we tried Your patience and crossed the line into Your judgment? Are You holding us accountable for our sin and rebellion and defiance, for our profanity and blasphemy and idolatry? “You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before You when You are angry?” (Psalm 76:7). Are You?
Most Holy Lord. We want to make everything right with You. So we confess our sin. You are righteous. We are not. You always do the right thing. We have done wrong. We are covered with shame because we know better. We have taught our children that You are not their Creator—that they simply evolved as cosmic accidents with no eternal purpose or significance. We have had generations of blessing and prosperity, yet we have refused to thank You, and instead give ourselves credit for what has come from Your hand. We have agreed with those who contradict Your Word. We have turned away from Your truth and believed lies. We have mocked Your image in which we were created as male and female (Genesis 1:27). We have treated life casually. We have legalized infanticide, snuffing out the next generation for convenience and profit. Then we have covered our own shame and guilt by declaring we have the right to choose. We have redefined Your institution of marriage as though we are wiser than You. We have destroyed our environment selfishly. We have passed by the needy uncaringly. We have demanded entitlements defiantly. We have despised and abused those who are different than we are. We have not listened to those who have warned us of the consequences of turning away from You. We are so, so sorry!
We claim Your promise that if we confess our sins, You are faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
We Ask for Your Peace
We believe that through our faith in You, Jesus, we have redemption through Your blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of Your grace … (Ephesians 1:7). Isn’t that what Your name means? Savior. Because You will save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21). Thank You for saving us … for cleansing us … for hearing our prayer. …
Turn to us! Draw near to us! (James 4:8). If You do not help us, we will be defenseless. If You do not protect us, we will be exposed to danger. If You do not deliver us from evil, we will be overcome by it. If You do not have plans to give us hope and a future, we will slide into the past tense as a nation (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Into oblivion. We feel our nation sliding down even now.
Prince of Peace, breathe the cool, soothing wind of Your Spirit across the fiery rhetoric, rage, and rioting that have erupted. Grant us courage to face legitimate issues of injustice, oppression, and prejudice. Grant us the strength of character to set things right, while rejecting that which is wrong. Forgive us our sins as we forgive everyone who has sinned against us (Luke 11:4; Matthew 6:14-15). Grant us Your peace. …
Prayers of Blessing
- Bless our national and local elections. Raise up men and women who will lead us back to You. … Raise up leaders of moral and spiritual integrity who have a strong faith and a healthy reverence for You and therefore the wisdom to make right decisions.
- Bless our President and his family, our Vice-President and his family, the Cabinet, and all those who serve as counselors and advisors. Surround our leaders with men and women who fear You and therefore have wisdom and sound judgment.
- Bless our homeland security teams. Give them eyes to see the bad guys, ears to hear the evil chatter, minds to understand the tweets and codes, and the will to act before the enemy does. Protect us from evil.
- Bless our police officers and firefighters, our armed forces and border patrol—all the truly good men and women who risk their lives to keep us safe. Restore to them the respect they deserve, as they in turn treat with respect those they serve. Protect their lives and their families. Bring to the light of justice any corruption and abuse so that we can trust those in uniform. Guard those who guard us.
- Bless our doctors and nurses and all of our healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this battle against COVID-19. Protect them from the virus as they help us get through it.
- Bless our judges and prosecutors. Cause them to serve faithfully and wholeheartedly, remembering that they are accountable to You (2 Chronicles 19:8-11). Punish those who do wrong. Encourage those who do right.
You are the Fountainhead from whom all blessings flow. The list of our needs and our requests is endless. Please.
- Bless our lawyers. Our bankers. Our teachers. Our commissioners. Our farmers.
- Bless our preachers, Bible teachers, and seminary professors. … When they preach or teach, compel them to preach the Word, not books about the Word. Motivate them with holy fear of standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ to give an account for the way they have impacted others by their words and by their deeds. Remove those whose lives are out of sync with their lips. …
- Bless our families. The unloving spirits of infidelity, dishonesty, treachery, hypocrisy, immorality, pornography, and adultery are sweeping through our homes. The enemy seems to be attacking us on every level, on every front. A vast army of evil seems to have been unleashed against the home. … We plead for Your divine protection. We plead for Your divine wisdom to counter the attacks so that our families are strengthened in their relationship with You. Be the center of our homes.
Lord of love, we even pray for You to bless our enemies. Yes, we do. Open their ears to the Truth. Open their minds to understand the Gospel. Open their hearts to long for Your love. Draw them to Yourself as moths are drawn to a flame. Your Light is stronger than their darkness. Bring them into the Light. Save them for all eternity. BUT if they reject You, we ask that You turn them on each other. Distract them. Destroy them. Prevent them from continuing to attack and persecute the righteous. Protect us from their evil plots and agendas.
Lastly, O God our Father, bless us. Bless each woman who is participating in this call to pray. Make us into vessels of honor, instruments “…for noble purposes, made holy, useful to our Master and prepared to do any good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). Give us the vision, wisdom and discernment to raise our children and grandchildren to be disciples, so that Truth will be passed to the next generation. …
Prayers of Courage
We remember with awe that Your first appearance after the Resurrection was to a woman! That Your first commission to share the Gospel was to a woman! (John 20:10-18). So we, Your daughters who follow You, reject timidity, fearfulness, and a sense of inadequacy that would delegate sharing the Gospel to others. Open our lips to boldly and fearlessly make known the Gospel: (Ephesians 6:19) the Good News of redemption for the past … hope for the future … joy for the present regardless of circumstances … salvation that’s free … forgiveness that has no limits … love that is unconditional, boundless, and eternal (Ephesians 3:14-19) … found at the Cross. … And when people see us standing strong, help them to see You. …
And now, God of grace, on this day of Pentecost, we ask once again that You send down Your Holy Spirit in fullness. Ignite the fire of revival in our own hearts. Protect us. Defend us. Comfort us. Empower us. Equip us as we put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes … so that in this day of evil, we choose to stand our ground … taking up the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God … and pray.
With this in mind, we remain self-controlled and alert while we keep on praying until we prevail in prayer (Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Peter 4:7). And we keep on watching expectantly. …
For the glory of Your great name that is above every name. The name that one day every tongue will confess and before whom every knee will bow … JESUS (Philippians 2:9-11).