I asked missionary colleague Ryan Thomas to write a prayer devotional for our Missionary Fellowship. He wrote the following devotional that was posted on www.mexicoag.org. I felt it was worth sharing.
Ezekiel 22: 23-31:
Again the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, say to the land, ‘You are a land that has had no rain or showers in the day of wrath.’ There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her. Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says’-when the LORD has not spoken. The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice. “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.”
You’ll notice in this passage that God points out five levels of society to Ezekiel and reveals the corruption, violence and sin that is destroying each area:
1. The Princes – these are the highest rulers in the land. God reveals that they are devouring the people, destroying families and taking the wealth of the land.
2. The Priests – the religious leaders. They do not expose sin and they profane God’s Name, actually turning people away from true righteousness.
3. The Public Officials – the local leaders. They destroy lives for money.
4. The Prophets – the spiritual influencers of the land. They give false visions and revelations, helping to hide the true state of sinfulness in the nation.
5. The People – the masses. They also practice sin, stealing from and mistreating one another.
When I read this passage I immediately think of Mexico. For centuries corruption, greed and violence have destroyed every level of society in this country, from Presidents down to the local store shop owners on every corner. Idolatry, theft, bribery and murder have ravaged this nation. Even now we are seeing another wave of violence and corruption that is destroying lives.
But just as in Ezekiel’s time, God is looking for those who would see what He sees and stand in the gap in intercession so that He can pour out mercy and grace instead of judgment and wrath. Unfortunately for the case with Ezekiel, God “found none”. That has to be one of the most tragic verses in the whole Bible! There was not one person that God could share His heart with, reveal the true situation of the nation to, and who would respond in selfless love to intercede for mercy.
I pray that God would find in you and I people who are willing to receive His burden and His love to stand in the gap on behalf of Mexico. Allow the Holy Spirit to break you and cause you to cry out to God for mercy for every one of these five levels of society.
1. The President of Mexico – Felipe Calderón. Pray that God would touch him, his family and those in his inner circle of leadership that they would bow their knees to Jesus Christ and rule with righteousness.
2. The Religious leaders of Mexico. Pray for Catholic Priests to have a revelation of the Risen Lord! Pray for Pastors of all denominations to rise up and preach truth.
3. The Local leaders in Mexico. Pray for Senators, Mayors and Municipal Leaders to come to Christ, to govern with righteousness, to turn from bribery and extortion.
4. The Spiritual Influencers of Mexico. Pray that God would break the back of idolatry and witchcraft in Mexico, that He would shut the mouths of false prophets and raise up true preachers of righteousness in the land.
5. Pray for the people of Mexico. Pray that God would grant repentance to the people of Mexico, that they would come to a true knowledge of Jesus Christ.
The fate of Mexico is not in the hands of the President, or the Federal Police, or any other organization… it’s in the hands of the Church. May we feel God’s pain and God’s love and be moved to our knees.