A Prayer for the Dying

“Facing a dying nation
A moving paper fantasy
Listening for the new told lies … “
-‘The Flesh Failures’ from the rock musical Hair

On this National Day of Prayer, it’s bizarre to consider that a counter-cultural musical rejecting most everything great about America still has something to say, more than a half century after its debut.

We are, in fact, facing a dying nation. When the principles undergirding a country’s strength are openly despised (not just by the radical few, mind you, but by way too many, and far too loudly) that spells life support and a poor prognosis.

So today I’m less inclined to say “Make America Great Again” and more apt to plead “Keep American Breathing For Awhile.”

Then again, if we continue this mad spiral, pulling the plug may be the
only option.

Symptoms Significant; Prognosis Poor

That spiral includes heartless contempt for our future generations – look no further than the holocaust of the unborn population – and even if these innocents survive our first attempt to kill them, plenty of us now demand another chance at infanticide once the child is born.

State after state is banning any professional counseling or ministerial attempt to help people abandon homosexual behavior, explore their potential for a response to the opposite sex, and live within the values of their world view. Such a change, we’re told, is impossible; attempting it
is damaging.

But let an elementary school lad question whether he might really be a girl, and we jump the gun to buy him a dress, pump him with drugs, and guarantee him a future shot at castration should he opt for it. Gay to straight? Never. Male to female? Right this way.

As for outdated concepts like Capitalism and Self-Initiative, those are relics from a less enlightened time. Openly Socialist leaders and would-be leaders are cool, capturing the imagination of an intellectually lazy generation seemingly bent on government dependency. Everyone deserves – well, everything. Free education, free medical care, free housing. We’re no longer a country saying every One should be free. Now we’re saying every Thing should be free.

Well, not quite. Speech and religion must never be free in America’s Brave New World. Such freedoms allow for dangerous individualism in a time when the collective (Facebook’s “Community Standards” come to mind) outweighs the unique. The State’s hungry, the individual is the morsel, the beast has gotta eat. So stifle the Church, outlaw dissent, case closed.

Of course, America’s history must be apologized for, denigrated, despised. We’re a contemptible nation of racists and misogynists, our past sins once and forever blotting out our historic accomplishments and present virtues. A bad country isn’t worth fighting for, ours is bad, so why not chuck it in lieu of a new one?

For that matter, why not invite everyone, legal immigrant or otherwise, to be part of it? You’ll gratefully vote big government advocates in after those advocates have greenlighted your disrespect for our borders and ushered you in as their guest.

That’s not hyperbole. That’s the America we are only a couple of elections, a couple of SCOTUS appointments, perhaps even just a couple of years
away from.

Ask yourself how long your house would last if you were in the habit of killing its future members, destroying the concept of its family unit, stifling free speech and initiative among its members, allowing anyone to enter it without invitation, and teaching its inhabitants how immoral and ignoble the history of that house is?

As Madame DeFarge famously quipped in A Tale of Two Cities, “Can such things last? Bah! I Mock you.”

Lazarus: The Sequel

So we pray today, rightfully and earnestly, a prayer for the dying nation teetering on a precipice. Maybe judgment has already come, and we don’t see it. Maybe the Lord Himself has said Ichabod and there’s nothing left to do but wait for the final gasp.

I’ve got another idea, though. A hope, one that’s not too audacious to grasp.

Remember the reviving of Lazarus? (John 11) Jesus was told His friend was dying and that He was needed immediately. He then pronounced hope despite a serious prognosis: “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

Then He delayed, Lazarus expired, and when Jesus finally arrived, Lazarus’ sister Martha questioned His timing. The patient had died; only in the future resurrection would he be seen again.

Jesus had other ideas. “Take away the stone of the tomb,” He ordered. Martha noted that by then, her brother’s body was beginning to decay, so she indelicately resisted by saying, “He stinketh.”

You know the rest. What was hopeless to the point of stinking emerged alive and victorious, even over the grave.

Jesus chose not to heal the sick, but rather to raise the dead, long past all reasonable hope ended, proving Himself more powerful and astonishing than He’d been given credit for.

We Stinketh

Is it possible that today we’re praying not so much for a dying nation, but rather for one on the verge of fresh life?

Surely, as Martha declared, we stink. But before I assume that I should stop praying for my country’s future and start preparing for Her funeral, I’ll remember it’s not the Fat Lady’s aria we wait for before throwing in the towel, but rather the Messiah’s pronouncement.

Only when He says “It is finished” is it finished, and somehow, fool or optimist that I am, I can see Him doing with America just what He did with Lazarus – waiting for a bad situation to seem hopeless, then showing off (He’s entitled) by commanding the stone be rolled away to reveal the stink of death replaced with resurrection power, again proving Himself more powerful and astonishing than He’s been given credit for.

So may it be now, as it was then, that this sickness – America’s reprehensible moral and spiritual decay – will, in fact, “not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

God Bless America on this National Day of Prayer


tom | May 3, 2019

Is there not a cause? Said young David. Now is the time to pray, and to be used of God to seek the lost, and stand for righteoussness! Erwin Leutzer asked a pastor of a mega church, "why don't you have prayer meeting"? Mmm well... "How bad does it have to get, before you do"?

Jack Sampier | May 6, 2019

Incredibly well said, Joe. The Prophet seems to have the same thought: "... when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." Isaiah 59:19 (MEV)
Blessings, my friend!

Norm Seeley Jr | May 6, 2019

Henry J and Norm have you in our Thoughts and Prayers!!

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