New York City pastor Carter Conlon is gravely concerned for America, and only a national commitment to prayer will ease his mind.
Conlon, who is releasing his newest book, "It's Time to Pray," next month, says the only thing that can save the nation is a return to prayer.
"I believe with all my heart that revival can return to our nation again, if only we commit wholeheartedly to prayer as a lifestyle, not a temporary project," he said.
Conlon—who serves as the senior pastor of Times Square Church in Manhattan, an interdenominational church with over 10,000 people in attendance, representing 100 different nationalities and 700 home satellite fellowships worldwide—remembers when a prayer revival broke out years ago during an economic downturn in New York City. Hundreds of thousands of people returned to God, and the same can happen today, if only people look inward, see their flaws and allow God to rule their life and direct their will.
"People are tired of the incivility, the lack of statesmanship and the general devaluing of society and the church," Conlon said. "But we know from Psalm 107 that when people become so hungry and thirsty because of their rebellion, they will cry out to God and He will answer them."
Throughout Conlon's life, he said, God has taken him from weakness to rediscovering the strength of the Lord. The same can happen for the church, which for a long time had has a "me focus."
"The church is supposed to affect the culture, not be affected by the culture," he said. "I have learned through the lifelong journey God has taken me on that people will be sparked to pray again. Prayer is returning to an understanding that we need God's intervention, and if we will acknowledge that need, He will indeed intervene."
The nation, Conlon added, is not at a crossroads, but has already passed the tipping point toward godlessness.
"Our only hope is to pray again," he said. "If people are willing to call on God's name and humble ourselves, God promises He will hear us and return healing to our nation. We have a window, but it is short. Prayer is not a program but a passion. And I truly believe that in 10 years, we will wish we had prayed."
Several faith leaders have provided words of praise for Conlon's new book, including Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council and Council for National Policy.
"Action without prayer is like driving a car without an engine," Perkins said about It's Time to Pray, which also features a foreword by national radio personality Eric Metaxas, who is the New York Times best-selling author of Bonhoeffer. "The reality is you have no power to go anywhere! My good friend Pastor Carter Conlon helps us understand the powerful, life-changing truth that Jesus shared with His disciples in Mark 9 and how it applies to us. It's time to start your engine—pray!"
Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of founding pastor David Wilkerson, who launched Teen Challenge and wrote the best-selling book, The Cross and the Switchblade. Conlon was appointed senior pastor of Times Square Church in 2001.
Conlon continues to be a voice for God far beyond the pulpit of Times Square Church by speaking at numerous conferences across the country and around the world. His weekly radio spots air on 1010 WINS, the nation's longest-running all-news station, and his one-minute devotional and 30-minute program, called "A Call to the Nation," are currently syndicated on over 350 Christian radio stations worldwide. He is the author of several books, including The 180-Degree Christian, Fear Not and Unshakable.
It's Time to Pray is published by GPC Books, an imprint of Times Square Church's partnership with Charisma House. Charisma House has published books, including 14 best-sellers, that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians.
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