By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

For the last several weeks, I have been getting together with a Texas chiropractor friend with whom I am in business for one reason and one reason only: to pray for America. Every Wednesday morning, from 6:30 to 7, we “come together boldly before the throne of grace to find grace to help in a time of need.” Why? What good does it do? If you look at the story of a UK WWII-era man of prayer by the name of Rees Howells, bodacious prayer can change history. And, if ever history needed to be changed, it’s now. In Rees’s case, intercessory prayer, on his own or with others, resulted in things like the Luftwaffe mysteriously turning back when they could have literally blown the RAF out of the sky. I don’t know if Winston Churchill knew of their persistent prayers when he said of the small group of pilots who had maintained air supremacy: “Never has so much been owed by so many to so few.”

Am I trying to imply that somehow our prayers are special? Yes and no. What do I mean by that? I believe that believers, all believers, are hardwired to pray prayers that are supposed to change the world for the better in ways big and small. The problem is, we aren’t typically pressed into a place where we are so desperate that we must have answers, so we give up before we press through. But, when people band together and bow the knee, things happen.

As tough as these times are, great good can and will come out of the chaos, and we may as well go all-in when it comes to prayer. If we don’t, the madness we encounter on a daily basis will dull and lull us into oblivion. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t ever want to have my Savior say of me that my “salt has lost its saltness, and is good for nothing but to be trodden under foot.” I want my prayers to “pester,” if you will. Not that God has ever needed to have us talk Him into anything, but rather, our need is to get the hindrances to prayer out of the way. That starts with repentance.

I asked Jonathan Hamilton, our graphic designer, to make a bottom banner on the front cover of this edition that simply says, “Pray for America.” What I want that banner to convey is the cry for something that transcends politics, the relentless insistence that if we hit our knees and humble ourselves, the sky is the limit. Fifty years ago, the last time our country looked like it was circling the drain and youth were going to be lost to rebellion and hallucinogens, desperate parents, grandparents, and friends hit their knees, and an alternative to the insanity of the hour emerged: revival. It swept through our country and rescued multitudes. I was one of them that would have perished had there had not been prayers on my behalf. That is why I know that it is our best, actually our only option. So, respectfully, let’s get to it. Now.

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Athens Now Online 2019