Recent events in our nation and the world have created a spirit of desperation among many.
One cannot watch the news about recent disasters - the cyclone in Myanmar and the earthquake in China - without shedding a tear for the thousands who lost their lives and the families left behind. From news reports, I saw parents digging with their bare hands to find their children buried under the rubble of what once was a school. I cannot fathom more than 900 students killed in only a few seconds. The pain of losing a child, husband, wife or friend is unspeakable.
During this same period, political and social earthquakes were taking place in our nation with upcoming elections and court rulings which undermine biblical moral standards. The shifting moral and political landscape is a difficult adjustment for many.
I am currently reading "The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever" by Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter. In thinking about the social, economic and political changes we face, I once again am reminded that only God's power can bring about the changes we need and desire. Institutions, governments, businesses cannot bring about permanent spiritual renewal. Only God can.
Towns and Porter reveal the impact on the Welsh culture during the revival as recorded by historian J. Edwin Orr, who noted:
- Drunkenness was immediately cut in half, and many taverns went bankrupt.
- Crime was so diminished that judges were presented with white gloves signifying that there were no cases of murder, assault, rape, etc. to consider.
- Law enforcement officials became unemployed in many districts.
- Stoppages occurred in coal mines because so many miners quit using foul language and the horses hauling the coal trucks could no longer understand what they were to do!
As I read the history of these great awakenings, one thing comes across clearly - the people turned to God with an intensity of prayer that shook the world.
Recently a pastor reported: "We have been praying for a few months, and God has answered our prayers. It appears everything we have placed before Him has been answered."
I encourage California Southern Baptist pastors, church staff and laypersons to earnestly lead their church in fervent prayer for our state, nation and world. When we lift our petitions, He will hear and answer!