Terre Haute, IN — A Lifeway research study on prayer showed that among Christians who pray only 12% pray for government leaders. With his new book, “With One Cry” (releasing May 3), David Butts makes the case that unless the United States repents in a manner described in the book of Joel, there is little hope for America in the long run. Butts, who has served as Chairman of the Board for the National Day of Prayer for more than 13 years, says government leaders should play a role in the nation’s repentance, but if they don’t, Christians must act immediately.
“Though it is hard to believe given our current secular mindset,” says Butts, “the United States has had numerous calls to repentance from our leaders, including Presidents such as Abraham Lincoln and John Adams. If a President is not willing to lead us in repentance, one important action step for the Church is to seriously pray for the President’s heart, that he would come to see the need for nationwide repentance. On a local church level, pastors need to preach on repentance, not only from the individual aspect, but the need and the how-to for corporate repentance.”
“With One Cry” offers specific scriptural references and outlines for Christians of all denominations to pray for the nation’s on-going issues. Butts includes a National Prayer Accord in the appendix of the book which is patterned after a rhythm of prayer established by Jonathan Edwards and churches in the Colonies prior to the first great awakening in the United States. The book also points to definitive moments in U.S. history when prayer was at the center of pivotal events. Butts believes the Bible commands every Christian to be diligent in praying for the nation’s leaders, whether they agree with them or not.
“In Paul’s teaching on prayer in 1 Timothy 2:1–4, one of the major thrusts is praying for those in authority,” says Butts. “According to Paul’s reasoning, we want good government that allows us to live ‘peaceful and quiet lives’—ultimately freeing us to evangelize those who are lost. Paul would have been amazed that Christians could someday actually take part in selecting those leaders. I believe he would have been even more amazed (and appalled) that many of those Christians didn’t even bother to get involved in selecting those leaders for the purposes of God to be fulfilled.”
His book “With One Cry” highlights the second chapter of Joel as a framework for the steps a nation should take to repent. “Joel shows us a picture of genuine remorse over sin from a vast cross section of the nation of Israel at that time,” explains Butts. “It was a response from huge numbers, and particularly from their leaders. This was not a small, unnoticed meeting of a few ‘religious’ people. God was calling for a nation to turn around publicly. Prophet after prophet came with the message that the nation had turned from God and must repent and turn back. At various times, the nation responded and revival broke out. Eventually, Israel paid for continued unrepentant hearts by suffering destruction. America is facing that same choice today.”
This year’s National Day of Prayer will be held on Thursday, May 5 in Washington D.C. For more information about “With One Cry,” visit www.harvestprayer.com.
Dave Butts received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lincoln Christian College, and Bachelors and Masters from Indiana State University. In 2014, he received the Doctor of Philosophy in Theology (PhD) from Atlantic Coast Theological Seminary. From 1974-1992, Dave served in various pastoral roles in local churches. In 1993, Dave and his wife, Kim, launched Harvest Prayer Ministries.
Besides authoring numerous magazine articles on prayer and missions for various publications, Dave is the author of “When God Shows Up,” “Desperate for Change,” “Forgotten Power,” “The Devil Goes to Church,” “Prayer and the End of Days,” “Asleep in the Land of Nod,” “Revolution on Our Knees,” “Pray Like the King” and “Vertical with Jesus,” which he wrote jointly with his wife, Kim.