As you read Matthew 7:6-12 you will realize that these are some of the most difficult passages to understand in the Sermon on the Mount. Why do I say this? Jesus makes some very difficult statements that almost seem to contradict what He has just said about judgmentalism in the previous verses. Jesus has taught His disciples not to judge or condemn others. As you read this entire chapter you will see that it is given over to one form of judgment or another. In the verses we are about to study, Jesus turns right around after teaching not to judge in verses 1-5, and tells the disciples they must make correct judgments in verse 6. Remember, Jesus had taught them in John 7:24, “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” So, there is a wrong way to judge, and there is a correct way to judge. You are commanded not to judge unjustly, which is self-righteously, and by outward appearance. Rather, Jesus wants us to judge righteously, which is not according to appearance, but based on the fruit of words and actions. Christ says to His disciples, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces” (Matt. 7:6). When Jesus gave this command it probably really made them stop and wonder, Wow! Why would He say such a thing? This sounds so harsh. But, is it harsh, or an essential discernment that would protect them and protect the truth of God from being mocked?
How should you take this command of Jesus? Vs. 6
First, put verse 6 into the context of this chapter. In verse 5, Jesus commanded the disciples to remove the plank from their own eye, then they would see clearly to remove the speck out of their brother’s eye. In other words, God wants us to first do some real serious self-evaluation to consider our own faults in an honest and sincere way. Only then will we have the humility to remove the speck in our brother’s eye. Humility is the key to having the ability to help others. Humility keeps you from self-righteous judgment of others.
Once you have done this self-introspection and have a humble heart, then you can make correct discernments of who Jesus refers to as dogs, hogs, and wolves (Vs. 6; 15). But, back to Christ’s point of removing specks. This is something He wants you to do. First, deal with your own faults, and then help others with their faults. But, how do you know when you should remove the speck, or when you should leave that person alone? Jesus has made it clear that we are not to give holy things to dogs, hogs, and wolves in sheep’s clothing. This is why Jesus said, “Do not throw what is holy to dogs.” The words, “Do not,” are a very clear command. So, how do you know when you should give what is holy, and when you shouldn't? How do you know who is a dog, or a hog, or a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Notice that Jesus explains how to make this discernment in verses 16-20. It is by their fruit; the fruit of their words and the fruit of their behavior. This is the ultimate way to discern between those who should hear the truth of holy things and who should not.
What do these powerful metaphors mean?
Dogs, hogs, and wolves are three powerful metaphors. These metaphors are to be a warning to all believers. You are going to encounter people like this, so you need to heed this warning. You need to have the discernment of how to make a correct judgment when a dog, or a hog, or a wolf is before you. Do you know what those terms mean and the type of people they describe? What would one of these people be like? Can you explain what these people are like from the Bible? That's what I want to do right now.
There are times when you are going to come upon people that you should not try and counsel, share the gospel, or try to remove the speck from their eye. Notice in verse 6, there are two very clear indicators that Jesus gave for how to determine who is a dog, a hog, or a wolf. He said they would take the holy things of God and, “trample them under their feet.” In other words, they will take the pearls of God’s holy Word that you share with them, and trample them under their feet. The word trample means to figuratively reject with disdain and mockingly step on what you say. Then second, you should consider the fruit of their attitude. They will, “turn and tear you in pieces.” In other words, they will criticize you, mock you, curse you, or do anything to draw you down in the mud of their sow’s pen. Jesus is saying, He doesn’t want you getting yourself into this kind of a circumstance or situation. Literally, Jesus is trying to protect you from those who would trample Him and you under their feet.
I’m sure that most of you have had this experience. If you share your faith and are verbally outspoken about your faith in Jesus Christ, you have encountered these individuals. I have many times. I've used this example with you several times before. I was sharing the gospel one time with an individual on the street. I began to talk with him about my faith in Christ. He turned to me and said, “Jesus is a queer.” I knew immediately that this man was one of the people Jesus is describing here. My response was, “Well, have a nice day. I'll be praying for you,” and I walked on. I'm not going to share the gospel with a person who is mocking God like this. This is the kind of individual that Jesus is referring to when He mentions dogs.
Now, are there any examples in the Scripture where Jesus refused to share the gospel with someone? Many think, Jesus loves everybody. He could win anyone over to the truth. He would not miss an opportunity to share the gospel with everyone that He met.” Some people believe that. But, that is not what we see in the Scripture. In Luke 23:9 we read that Jesus was taken to Herod, “And when He was brought before Herod, and he questioned Him with many words, but he answered him nothing.” Jesus did not say one word to this man about the gospel. However, with Pilate, Jesus did try to share with him. But, when Pilate got arrogant with Him and resistive, Jesus became silent with him too. So, look at these two examples. With Herod, not one word. Why? Because, if you read the context, you'll see that all Herod wanted was for Jesus to do a little trick for him, to perform a miracle so he could be amused. But Jesus said in essence, “I'm not playing your game.” Herod was what Jesus would call a dog, or a hog.
Direct commands on this topic in Scripture
It is also important that you see in Scripture how God deals with this topic of people who are unreceptive to the truth. First, note the direct commands that you have in Scripture. In Proverbs 23:9, Solomon said, “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.” But, how does Solomon define what a fool is in the book of Proverbs? In Proverbs 9:8 it says, “Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.” So, a fool and a scoffer are the same kind of people. Notice also that Solomon addresses the response of a scoffer hating you. This is similar to Christ’s declaration that dogs will tear you in pieces. The command is the same too. “Do not correct a scoffer” and, “Do not throw what is holy to dogs.” Now, these commands communicate to me that some people in this world will do you harm when you are trying to do them good. There are some individuals that literally want to tear you in pieces. So, beware as Jesus said, and be wise as Solomon taught.
In the New Testament Paul warned Timothy about people who wanted to do him harm. In 2 Timothy 4:14-15, Paul declared, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.” He was obviously someone who wanted to tear Paul in pieces. He was an evil man and a scoffer.
In Philippians 3:2, Paul was speaking about the false teachers that continually plagued him and his ministry. He warned the people to, “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers.” Notice that Paul used the same metaphor of a dog. These men were nipping at his heels, continually attempting to destroy everything that he was trying to accomplish for the kingdom of God.
In addition, Peter described the false teachers the same way. “But there are also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber” (2 Peter 2:1-3). In other words, destruction and judgment are coming to these individuals. You don't want to be in their shoes. But, notice how he ends this second chapter. “But it has happened to them according to the true proverb; 'A dog returns to its own vomit,' and, 'a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire'” (2 Peter 2:22). So, again Peter used the same metaphor that Jesus did in Matthew 7:6.
Furthermore, King David also used this metaphor when talking about the wicked that pursued him. In Psalm 22:16 it says, “For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet.” David was talking about the people who relentlessly pursued him, trying to destroy him and tear him in pieces. He called them dogs. He called them wicked men. This passage was also a Messianic psalm prophetically describing those who crucified the Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ.
Consequently, the point of Christ’s command to not throw what is holy to dogs, is so you will make a determination of who is a scoffer, and who is someone that could care less about the truth of the gospel. Follow Christ’s example with someone like Herod, or Paul’s example with Alexander the coppersmith. Also, when someone is perverting the truth of the gospel, and is not open to listening to reason concerning the truth, this command will motivate you to move on to someone who is receptive. Don’t let people trample on the holy things of God. You must learn to be discerning about who you are talking to about God’s Word. This interpretation of this passage is in complete harmony with the context of learning how to be discerning of your own heart and of others.
Where do you get the ability to discern, yet at the same time not condemn others? Vs. 7-11
This is an important question. Where can you find the ability to know and discern who is a dog, a hog, or a wolf? Notice what comes next in this context of verse 6. If you don't see the context here, you miss the whole point. What enables you to be discerning?
- Discernment comes by prayer. Notice what Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Remember, Jesus has already instructed His disciples about prayer back in chapter 6. He now comes back to the subject of prayer because of how important this aspect of our Christian life is. James taught that we simply don’t have things because we do not ask for them (James 4:2). So, here in verse 7, Jesus commands us to, “Ask and it will be given to you.” Therefore, this is where you are going to get the discernment you need in life to make correct judgments. You need to pray and ask for wisdom. You should be praying within your heart as you begin to talk to somebody about Christ and as they are responding to you. I usually pray something like this. “Lord, help me to speak to this person, to lovingly minister your truths to them. Help me to have your discernment right now concerning their need.”
Why should you pray like this? This is who you are, you are an ambassador for Jesus Christ. To every believer that is reading these words, your calling is to represent the King of Kings. To do that effectively, you must know what your King is saying. So, are you praying like this? Are you asking for discernment? If you do, you are going to get that discernment and wisdom you seek. Remember, “Everyone who… seeks finds” The Apostle James promised, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Note, “It will be given to you.” What a promise! Then ask for the wisdom. You also need wisdom just to share your faith. Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:17 for this wisdom too. He asked, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” We all need the Spirit of wisdom and revelation from Him. This is what enables you to be an effective witness for Him. As you pray this way this is what will happen. As you are sharing your faith, God will give you ideas and wisdom about how to speak or how to respond to a person. Verses of Scripture are going to come into your mind that you have not read in weeks or months. That’s the Spirit’s revelation to you! God does this for you so that you might be able to communicate with others effectively, boldly, and powerfully. Please, ask today for this enabling.
Three Assurances that you will receive when you pray.
Now Jesus gives three assurances that you're going to receive the answer to your prayer. These are three powerful assurances. Let me explain what Jesus declared.
- He is going to answer. In verse 7, Jesus commanded us to, ask, seek, and knock. These are His requirements to receive His wisdom when we pray. You must take these simple steps. Why? Because if you don’t, you won’t receive! You don’t receive, because you don’t seek. You don’t receive, because you don’t knock upon His door. It is that simple! If you want His wisdom, then ask, seek, and knock. It is important to know that all three of these verbs (ask, seek, knock) are in the present tense. This means that Jesus was saying, it’s not a one-time action, but a continuous action. He was actually saying, ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking. Don’t give up your pursuit! He makes it absolutely clear that you cannot get this wisdom unless you are persistent in prayer. If you come with a halfhearted request, it's not going to happen. The present tense shows this must be a willful, purposeful decision and choice that you make continuously. Pursue God. He wants you showing your continual dependence upon Him.
So, if you don't have a real prayer life on a daily basis, if you are not praying throughout the day, asking the Lord to help you to see what you should do, how you should respond, or how you should personally live out the truth, then you are disobeying the direct command of Jesus. And, I can assure you that you won’t find what you are looking for in your relationship with Him. Yet, people say to me, “I’ve been praying for this one thing for a whole year and nothing has happened.” But, let me explain, I've been praying for people in my family for almost 50 years. Should that discourage me? No! And, I am not going to stop praying for them. I want to see my family members come to Christ before they die. I saw my mother come to faith in Christ in the last months of her life when she came to live with me. So, don’t give up. Remember, the people you are praying for also have a will and are refusing to respond to Him. All I can say to you is, keep praying, and He will keep drawing them. Keep on asking. Keep on seeking Him. Keep on knocking.
In Luke 18:7-8, Jesus taught His disciples another principle of faith. He said, “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him?” How does Jesus view a prayer of faith? Is it prayer once in a while, or crying out to Him day and night? Why did Jesus say that He wants us to pray though He bears long? I believe that bearing long means that some of your prayers He's not going to answer immediately. Now, for those of you who are parents reading this, let me ask you a question. Do you say yes to your children every time they want something? I don't think so. If you do, you're not being a good parent. When they ask for ice cream before their dinner you say, “No!” When they want to jump in the pool, but they don’t know how to swim yet, you say no. Why? Because you know they can’t handle that responsibility right now at their age. Only after they learn how to swim would you say yes.
In addition, have you ever thrown a hissy fit and gotten angry with God when He didn’t answer some prayer right away? You complain, “God, I don't understand this. Why have You done this, or why didn’t you do that?” Can you handle the word, no? I hope so! If you can't handle that word you don't understand your relationship with Him. You also have to handle the words, not now, or not at this time. Sometimes it is His will, but it's not His will right now for you. Sometimes it's not His timing to fulfill that specific request in His plan for you. My point is to realize that you have to keep on praying and keep on crying out to Him no matter what you see. But remember, other times God is going to “avenge them speedily.” Some things He does speedily, and in some things, He wants you to wait on Him. Jesus ends this instruction with, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” So, at the end of days there are going to be some difficult circumstances that will come upon the earth. Jesus is questioning, is anybody going to be trusting Me this way, before I come again? So, real faith needs an understanding that He is sovereign and supreme over all things, all mankind, and over every prayer that is prayed.
- I will not harm you. The second assurance that Jesus gave is in verses 9 and 10, where He essentially says, I will not harm you. I am making a commitment to you. If you ask for bread, I am not going to turn around and give you a stone. That is a very important assurance that believers need to understand. Why? Because many times Christians have asked me, “If I just say, 'Lord, I surrender all'. Is He going to immediately make me do something that I hate?” No! He’s not going to do that. Maybe He will ask you to do something that is difficult, that you'll need His strength to accomplish, but He is not going to do something that would harm you. If the Lord directs you to take an action, it's going to be the best thing you could possibly do, or the best thing for your life. So be assured, He's not going to harm you. In Luke 12:32, Jesus assured the disciples, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” He wants to give to you the blessings of His kingdom, more than you want to even receive from Him. The Father cares about you and your family.
- I am a gracious giver. The third assurance Jesus gave in these verses is found in verse 11. I believe this is the foundation of all assurances. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” So, what are the good things that we should be asking Him for? In the context of this sermon, He wants you to make wise decisions. He wants you to know how and to whom you should minister the truth. These are just a couple of the good things that He wants to give to you. The rest of these good things are the end results of His great and precious promises. Jesus makes a very simple comparison in these words. He compares God’s Fatherly care with our care for our children. Now, notice that Jesus called the disciples evil, which refers to our sinful nature. Can you handle that? Jesus said that's who you are. The only thing that comes out of me that's any good, comes from the new nature that He gives me, and the power of the Holy Spirit that enables me to put that into practice. But, if we are evil, and we still want to do good things for our children, how much more is His love and goodness toward us? What a great comparison! No parent sits down and thinks, “Let's see, how can I destroy my children’s lives?” That's the furthest thing from your mind. Knowing this about ourselves and God, only magnifies His goodness all the more.
Now you may be thinking, but there are some individuals who are what Jesus called, dogs, hogs, and wolves who want to destroy people. You hear about people like this on the news regularly. I sit there listening to the things that people have done to their children, and I shudder inside myself. But I understand that these actions are caused by the evil within man's nature. This only motivates me more to share the gospel with people every chance I get. It should also motivate you, because that's the only thing that changes people and can transform their hearts. But, if you are evil and you want to give your children good gifts, God's care for you is far greater and beyond all your comprehension. His care for you is beyond all you can ask or think (Eph. 3:20). Believe it and receive it. Pray like you believe it!
The Father’s care for you is the point Jesus is trying to make. This is the second time Jesus has addressed this topic concerning prayer. Jesus wants to drive home this truth of the Father's care for you. Remember back in Matthew 6:9. Jesus said, “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven.” When we looked at this model prayer, I stressed to you how essential it was that you understood the Father's care. This is the foundation for every prayer. He is your Father, and He loves you. His love for you is where Jesus wants your thinking to begin when you go to prayer. Father, you are the one who cares for me more than anybody I have ever known. You care for me more than my spouse. You care for me more than any family or friend I have ever had on this planet. You love me. Why is this thinking and believing so important for prayer? It's the bottom line for your assurance of His answer to your prayers. You believe He hears you, because He loves you. This is what the Apostle John taught. “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us” (1 John 4:16). Notice the phrase, “We have known and believed.” It's one thing to know about the love of God, and it's another to believe the love of God for you. You must believe that He loves you. Isn't this assurance, that He loves you, which enables you to receive it when God says no to your request, or, when He says “wait?” You won’t think, “Why did You let this happen? Why didn't You do what I asked? Do you even care?” When you begin to question His love for you, let me assure you that you are in a tailspin. You are going down, and you are going to crash. So, if you are struggling in your prayer life, or in your Christian life in general, that is the first issue you should consider. Do you believe He loves you? Do you really believe He loves you personally? That's the key. If you believe He loves you, then you will come to Him. If you don't trust His love, you do not trust Him. That's the bottom line. When you are struggling in your faith, you are basically struggling with trusting His love, because those two things always go together. Remember that the Apostle John went on to say in his epistle, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15). Your confidence in His love for you will bring great assurance for answered prayer in your life.
- Discernment comes from walking in love toward others. Why does Jesus then go on to teach his famous words, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” This saying of Jesus is commonly called the Golden Rule. Note that He begins with the word therefore, which means that this is directly connected to what He has just talked about. Our current topic is the correct and incorrect ways we make judgments. Therefore, what is He teaching about how we can get discernment to make correct discerning judgments? You need to pray. You also need to do something. He is simply teaching that you need to walk in love towards others, if you want others to be loving towards you. But you may be thinking, How does loving others have anything to do with having discernment and making correct judgments? Think about it this way; if you are not willing to actually walk with Jesus and do what He teaches, then you will never know the truth. This is what Jesus modeled for us. What Jesus wanted from us, He first gave. He taught us that we must lay down our lives to follow Him. He wants us to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. So, that’s exactly what He first did for us! Whatever He wanted from us, He first gave. These are not just nice hopeful words and truths to proclaim, He actually did what He taught. This is the only way we know what the word love even means. It’s by looking at what He did. He lived what He taught.
The same is true for you and me. If you want to know how to respond to someone, you have to put the truth of God’s Word into practice. That is the only way that you will find, what I call, a self-confirmation of the truth. You have to walk in the truth. You have to do it, and then you know in yourself this is the truth. Jesus said it another way in John 7:17, “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” Note that Jesus didn’t say, talk about His will. No, He said do His will. Jesus is saying that the only way you will know whether I'm telling you the truth, is to do what I’ve said. You must put the truth into practice. Then and only then, will you know it is the truth.
This is what the Golden Rule is all about. Jesus is saying, “Go and do what I’ve said.” Remember, Jesus warned His disciples in this sermon about being hypocritical. Therefore, He tells them to walk in love, and they will have the personal confirmation that He has told them the truth. Paul taught the same thing in Philippians 1:9-10. He said, “And this I pray, that your love may still abound more and more in knowledge and all discernment.” Notice that Paul believed that walking in sincere love would naturally lead them into true knowledge and all discernment. He was writing these things to them because of some difficult people in the church who were causing a lot of dissension. They were going to need real discernment for exactly how to deal with this situation. Love would give them the discernment they would need.
I hope you see how essential walking in love is for making decisions. Remember, you need to ask for God’s discernment by being a man or woman of prayer. You need to also be a person who is putting into practice, in your own life, the truths that you are learning. You must live out in practical terms what you believe is true. If not, then you end up becoming a hypocrite, which is exactly what Jesus warned about earlier in this sermon. So, are you praying for discernment? Are you asking the Lord to fill you with love? Are you walking in love towards others? This is where your discernment will come from.
Why is this all so important?
I want to leave you with one thought that is extremely important in your daily life as a citizen of this country. I believe our country is in real trouble today. We have lost our moral rudder, and our ship has no direction. If there is no change, our nation will end just like all the other republics of history. I believe there is only one hope for our nation, and that is for a spiritual awakening. If our nation doesn’t return to God, there is sure to be destruction ahead for us. I’ve just shared with you the importance of prayer in this study. Prayer is what God tells us to do for our country. Paul said it was the first thing we should pray for daily. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, he commanded us to pray for our leaders, to pray for their repentance, because He desires all men to be saved. Please put the leaders of our country at the top of your prayer list, and cry out to heaven night and day that God will bring them to repentance. Unless there is repentance in their lives, there will be no true justice or righteousness in our land, and we will slide further away from His purposes for our country. It says in Proverbs 28:5, “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all.” The next time you vote, I hope that you will find out where the candidates stand on moral issues. Are they men and women of faith, or not? Now some of you may think, Is this really that important?
Let me just close with a quote from one of the founding fathers in our country, George Washington. Now, most of you have probably heard in your history classes that the founding fathers of our country were a group of deists, agnostics, and atheists. Well, did you know that over half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had seminary training, and several were ordained ministers? The vast majority of these men were devout Christians. So, what you have been taught about these men are lies. I've read the personal prayer journal of George Washington, and it is quite revealing what his beliefs were. No one could ever come to the conclusion that George Washington was a deist after reading how he exalted Jesus Christ as Lord. Listen to his thoughts from his farewell address on September 17, 1796. He warned the nation, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” To understand the word religion, you must realize that this word is in the New Testament. Religion simply means, the correct worship of God. So, Washington believed that the correct worship of God would always lead to morality. These are two indispensable supports of our republic. Washington goes on to say, “In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness and peace and these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.” Note that George Washington calls into question the patriotism of any individual that would try and subvert true religion, true worship of God and morality. So, if you don't put your faith into action, and vote for someone who upholds these two pillars, you are not voting in a way that will help our country. Washington continues by saying, “The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish these pillars.” He said, “A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity,” which means happiness, “And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” He didn't think that you could maintain morality in a nation without faith in Jesus Christ. He continues, “Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on the minds of particular structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” If you want a lesson in understanding of liberty and freedom, read his entire farewell address. You can find it easily online. I encourage you to do so.
So today I ask you to pray for yourself, pray for discernment, and pray for your nation. We all need the correct discernment and judgment of what is right and what is wrong. Evil men do not understand justice. It is your responsibility as a believer to make sure that those individuals in office are not evil men who believe evil things.
Let's go to Him in prayer. Father, we ask that You would pour out Your Spirit upon us. Lord, give us discernment where we stumble in our questioning of those answers or non-answers to prayer. Lord, I pray that You would fill each one of us with wisdom and discernment that we might be able to resolve any issue that is stumbling us in our faith and causing us to question your love. I pray that You would work in each of us to bring us to that place where we cry out to You day and night for ourselves, for our church, for the church at large and for our nation as a whole. Father, we do lift up our nation and ask that You would bring an awakening to our land. Bring a spiritual awakening to our representatives. Father, if they will not humble themselves and turn to You, we ask You to remove them and replace them with godly men and women who will turn this country around. Father, we lift up our hearts to You. We want You to turn us from our own wickedness and unbelief. We want to be more committed to You than we were last week or last year. Fill us with Your Spirit and bring that to pass in each of our lives today.