USA (MNN) — Today millions of Americans join together for the National Day of Prayer. It's a time to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture. This year's theme? "One Nation Under God."
While the United States was founded under God, are its people under God? Dr. Joe Stowell, President of Cornerstone University, says they've fallen away. "Our society has really been willing to throw God under the bus; either that, or just totally ignore Him, His values, and His systems of living and patterns of morality that bring health and peace to any nation."
Stowell says most in the United States would say, "No, we're probably not under God." But Stowell says if the U.S. is to return, it has to start with Christians. "If we as Christians and the church in America can get back to prayer, which really excites me, it's big reminder to all of us. Bringing our nation under God begins with bringing myself under God, and then bringing the church under God."
Stowell also says Christians need to stop throwing rocks at the unsaved. "If they could see in my life, and in the life of the church in America, winsomeness, health, peace, and joy, there would be something that would cause them to say, 'What do you have that I don't have?'" Instead, says Stowell, "They see a church that's long on mad and short on mercy — long on consternation and short on compassion."
According to Stowell, the message is this: the people of the United States won't return to God unless we lead them back.
Wayne Pederson, President of HCJB Global, says for their ministry, it's not just a national day of prayer. "For us it's a global day of prayer as we take this occasion to pray for the cause of global evangelism. Jesus commanded us to love God with all of our heart, mind, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves. And who is our neighbor? Our neighbor is the person around the world who hasn't heard the name of Christ."
Pederson says prayer unites believers, which is a key to evangelism. "Like the early church in the first century, people were attracted to the unity in the church; our prayer is that people around the world would be attracted to Christ by the unity of His followers."
Take time to pray today and every day.