pray for America
2 Chronicles 7 
13 "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people,
14 if my people, 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there."
Sin has powerful, long lasting consequences. We cannot marginalize God and ignore His commandments without evoking His wrath. He is gracious beyond measure. He has provided a way of redemption at great personal cost; however, to conclude He will not hold accountable the nation which walks in brazen defiance of His holy law is a profound error in judgment.

America is facing a rising storm of political and cultural crisis. The events of this past week have displayed deep seated anger which threatens the unity of our nation. How do we respond?

My prayer is for the pastors of our great churches spread across the Potomac Network who shoulder the responsibility of leading congregations in a Christian, biblical, God honoring response. Our churches are diverse: urban, rural, suburban, Caucasian, African-American, Latino, older, Millennial, traditional, contemporary, and many others distinguishing factors which shape each church's unique culture. However, at the heart of every true church is the life-changing gospel which unifies, the Word of God which establishes boundaries, and the Holy Spirit who is our guide. We must stop to hear what the Spirit is saying to His church.

I listened today to the worship service held last Sunday at Chapel Springs AG, Bristow, Virginia. As Pastor Scott Leib led the congregation in a service of lament, he counseled his hearers to take three personal steps. First, humble oneself and pray. Second, give truth time to be fully understood. None of us knows all things. The only person who knows all things is God. Rather than running to hear the views of secular sources, we should turn to the One who sees all things clearly. Thirdly, shut up and listen: think before you post, or blog, or rant. Engage someone with a different history in true conversation. The narrative which informs your world view is narrow and limited by experience. Before you rush to judgement, quiet your heart and listen. (You can hear Scott's full message at https://chapelsprings.sermon.net/main/main/20716068, or an abbreviated section on the church's Facebook page.)
It is time to pray.
I am asking every church in our Network to set aside time in the next few days to pray for America. We desperately need God to hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land, but first we must humble ourselves, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. We cannot expect a shift in our common culture unless those of us who are called by His Name repent from our wickedness.

We are beginning early for the Wednesday morning Bible Study at Family Camp to pray for America. I want to ask you to consider joining us at 9:00 AM in your local churches if possible. Also, on this Saturday, July 16, at the National Mall in Washington DC, many thousands of Christians will join for a prayer service called Together 2016. If you can be there, please come.

By God's sovereign design, The National Black Fellowship of the Assemblies of God is convening a conference in Dallas, Texas, July 19-21. The leadership has asked us to pray with them each day from 8:00 to 8:30 AM and 6:30 to 7:00 PM. I believe God would be pleased with our churches to pray for God's protection and anointing on their meetings as they provide a leading voice for unity within the Assemblies of God.

One final Word of counsel from Jesus: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." It is much easier to stir up strife than to make peace. The church is called to be an agent of peace in troubled times. We cannot remove the offense of the cross. The cross is both a stumbling block and an altar of repentance. We can, however, speak in gracious tones as we proclaim hope for those who turn to God.
 
Let's act wisely, demonstrate mercy, and call out to God to provide true justice for all.
Ken Burtram


Sincerely in Christ,

Ken