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In this series of articles, we are looking at the issue of how to pray for a Church that will, according to Scripture, fall into apostasy. How is a Christian to pray? In order to help us, we have been studying Daniel’s prayer for his people, who had fallen away from God, in Daniel 9.

So far, we have discovered that Daniel, although he was obviously not an idol worshiper or one who had turned away from God, included himself as a sinner with the rest of his people when he prayed. We can learn from Daniel’s humble example. As Christians, we must be honest with ourselves. Yes, the Church has behaved grievously and will continue to do so as it rebels against God in the days ahead; however, all of us have rebelled against God. I have ignored various truths of Scripture and probably still do to this day, in my ignorance. And have I loved God every day with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength? No, and neither have you.

Therefore, as we intercede for God’s people in these Last Days, we confess our sins, not just the sins of “those people” who we have denied, from our understanding, the very Lord who saved them. But our problem is that we don’t know their hearts as God does. What is the true state of those who claim to be followers of Jesus? We just don’t know.

When Daniel learned that the seventy years of captivity were ending as prophesied by Jeremiah, he interceded for His people and put on sackcloth and ashes. He was grieving. Why would he do this when Judah’s return—God’s word to Jeremiah—to the Promised Land was near at hand?

He knew that God’s people were totally unprepared to return and perhaps was wondering if the Lord might have changed His mind due to their persistent lack of repentance for their sins.

Let’s pause for a moment and think about the Lord’s Prayer where Jesus taught us to pray “Your kingdom come.” Now, we know His kingdom is coming, just as surely as Judah would return. Jesus promised He would return one day. On the day of His ascension, the angel reiterated it. The Book of Revelation proclaims the future establishing of His kingdom. So, why we should we pray “Your kingdom come”? It’s going to happen whether we pray or not. And why should we pray for the Church as we do so?

For the same reason Daniel prayed for God’s people centuries ago. They were sinners and unprepared for the event.

We must remember Jesus’ frightening question: “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8).1

This may include you, if you are alive and on the earth when He returns.

You. You may become faithless.

We must pray now that all of us will remain faithful. We must pray now that all of us know Him. I must tell you with much sadness that very many of our churches in West now bring messages that one could find in any self-help book. Very many of our churches tell us that we must have a dream for our lives, a vision, a purpose. The center of our churches have swung around from having Jesus as the center to people being the center. The Church has caved to the culture. We have become iChurch.

We are not to have a vision-driven life. We are not to have a dream-driven life. We are not to have a purpose-driven life.

We are to have a Jesus-driven life.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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