Once while trolling the web, I came upon a description of a Near Death Experience during which the person was told that twenty people praying together could stop a war. I have since come upon similar ideas in several other places. This inspired me to gather together a small group of approximately twenty people with the purpose of praying monthly on a given subject. (The qualifications are that one is willing to pray about the subject a few minutes a month.)
Since I have just finished this month’s edition, I am posting it here. Anyone interested in praying about this month’s subject may follow the link. (If you are not interested in praying, I wouldn’t bother, as it is not particularly interesting in and of itself.)
All around us we see signs of depravity, broken families, pregnant teens, drugs, political scandals and a general lack of integrity in society as a whole. Sometimes, it seems so bad, we don’t see how even prayer could help. After all, societies fall apart, but they don’t get better, right?
During the Regency period (early1800 hundreds,) English society was quite decedent. Morals were lax. Many people lived together without marriage, and prostitutes lined the streets of London. Some whore houses in London even bragged that they did not have a girl over fourteen.
But all this was turned around during the Victorian age, partially because of Queen Victoria herself, but mainly because of the work of William Wilberforce, the hero of the recent movie Amazing Grace.
Wilberforce led a movement that not only cleaned up London and instilled better morals through English society but also stopped the slave trade world wide. (Americans continued to sell their own slaves for some years to come, but the English warships put an end to the international slave trade.) And all this came about because of the perseverance and determination of one man, Mr. Wilberforce. He also started the SPCA (the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.)
It has been popular my whole life to mock the Victorians for being hypocrites. That is a very misleading and cruel way of remembering these people who strove to live up to a high moral standard. True, some fell short – but many did not! And some who fell short in some areas, still lived to a higher standard than they would have had their society not praised virtue and morality. (Another way to put this might be: while those who aim high might miss, those who do not aim high have no chance of succeeding.)
These people stopped slavery, improved the conditions of the poor and of animals, brought marriage back into fashion and did many other virtuous things, some of which we still benefit from today.
I mention the Victorians as proof that society can improve. So, it is worth it for us to spend a few minutes praying upon its behalf. After all, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible!” (Matthew 19:26)
Related Bible Passages.
The Book of Jonah – in the story of Jonah, the destruction of Nineveh was prophesized. Only when Jonah told them to repent and change their ways, they did! And the city was never destroyed.
“So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.” Jonah 3:5-10
Other related Bible quotes:
“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
“O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not:” Psalms 4:2-4
“Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” Matthew 13:33
“Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 2Corinthians 7:9-10
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelations 3:19-20
“In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Revelations 22:2