Wednesday, October 10, 2012


What do women engage in most when they gather? Make chika (small talk), naturally---and then some.

Our some recently proved awesome.

Women members of the Filipino Christian Center (MD, USA; yes, am still here and raring to go back to Manila soon to escape the bristling cold weather as fall descends) met recently for a retreat.

We probably easily maxed our daily quota of 50,000 words per pax for the amount of words---repentant, praying, worshipping, praising, thanking---that went up to heaven on behalf of loved ones, the church, our neighbors and the nation.

That we did as we studied 2 Chronicles 7:14, precept upon precept, key word upon key word, and discovered that praying is not just about babbling out words and expecting God to respond like 911 or the fireman would, once we twit them heavenward.

"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 will forgive their sin and heal their land."

God will hear from heaven, forgive our sin and heal our land IF! A big if.

And it's no accident that as we did that, Christian churches all over the United States have called for  40 days of prayers to ask God to intervene as election day nears.
I had the privilege of facilitating this ladies' retreat. In recent weeks, I'd been clueless about what was going on in life, for some reason. But when I was asked to do this assignment, "Standing in the Gap" and 2 Chronicles 7:14 immediately came to mind.
I never realized that this theme and verse would be the Christian churches' rallying point as gap-dwellers for their nation. They see America as a nation in crisis, ready to implode if God does not intervene.
Author Joel Rosenberg puts it this way:
"... let's be clear: While our nation needs a fresh infusion of wise leaders, we need far more than that. We need Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, to lead us. We need a game-changing Third Great Awakening in which God in His sovereignty chooses to pour out His Holy Spirit and revive and awaken the Church and draw the lost to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
"We need a wholesale return to the Bible -- to studying it, meditating on it, and then living by it. We need to get down on our knees and plead with the Lord to give us revival. Nothing less will do.
"Is there hope? Yes, there is. Christ is our hope. But we need to turn to Him now. At the moment, I'm in the midst of 40 days of prayer and pleading for revival in America. I've joined with pastors and ministry leaders all over the country to call people to prayer and fasting, as well."
Why do we need to pray for America?
America still exerts the greatest influence on the world. But morally, it is decaying. It faces a $1.1 trillion budget deficit---a fiscal cliff, according to Washington leaders.
As we've always talked about in school, "When America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold."  
But Christians---no matter where we are in the world---should be praying more as the day of Christ's coming draws near. Filipinos need to pray for President Noynoy and our government officials, and for the reign of righteousness, brokenness of spirit and repentance in our nation.
We need to pray for Israel, that they too would come to God's saving grace in Christ.
We need to pray for the gospel to be preached to the uttermost parts of the globe.
We need to pray!
"There will be terrible times in the last days," says Mark 3:1---that's why we need to pray.
Christian gap-dwellers, if we must have a gab-fest, let it be a Christ-quest.
Jesus who saved us, now sits at the right hand of God the Father---interceding for us, ready to respond with His yeses and amens to our pleas.
So ladies, if we must meet for chikahan, chika less and pray more. Chika is fine. But Christ opening the windows of heaven because of our cries is finer.