What Can I Do?
Published on March 23, 2022
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As we have talked with people over the last couple years – usually in the setting of facilitating a constitution class – there is a common question that comes up.  The more we learn about the original intent of our founding fathers, the more we learn about how our form of government is supposed to work, the more we find out how messed up things are!  As people learn more about this, one thing they often want to know is, “What can I do?”  Often times, this question comes with a hopeless exasperation (and I understand that sentiment!)  Our Representatives in Congress, the Justices of the Supreme Court, and certainly the President, seem to be so far from the legitimate, Constitutional limitations of their offices.  We can call the office phones of these elected officials and express our dissatisfaction, but it feels like our voice is indistinguishable in the ocean of tyranny in which we sometimes feel we are drowning.  The more we learn about Constitutional limitations, and how these limitations are consistently ignored in our government (by all political parties, by the way), the more we ask that question, “What can I do?” 

Thank you! 

First of all, let me thank you for asking that question!  Asking the question, “What can I do?” clearly indicates several things.  First, it is a presentation of yourself at the job site ready to go to work.  It is showing up for the battle and asking the Captain where my post is…  Where will I be most effective?  There is nothing wrong with asking what you can do.  In fact, it is VITAL that each of us asks what we can do.  That’s how we identify who is ready to be part of the solution.  Secondly, asking the question, “What can I do” demonstrates that you have seen the problem and contemplated potential solutions.  You understand (at least in part) what we are up against.  You understand our form of limited, constitutional government is being threatened with destruction.  You know something needs to be done.  Thirdly, asking “What can I do” shows a readiness to support the overall, big picture design of the solution.  It is not important for everyone in the fight to fully grasp all the details of the problem and to see the total solution.  It is not important that every soldier who enlists for the battle understands the strategic plans of the General.  Asking “What can I do” demonstrates a readiness for your particular skills to be employed in the overall effort, and plugged in where most beneficial.  If I show up at a construction site and ask where I can help, I am not claiming to be an architect or structural engineer who can design the building.  I just need to know what areas need people with my skill set so I may be plugged in to the project in an effective way.    Thank you for asking such a valuable question and welcome to the fight to save our country! 

What Can I Do

A New Series

As we have interacted with Patriots who love our form of government under our Constitution, we have also been introduced to different organizations who are engaged in the fight to save our country.  Many of these organizations need volunteers – they need people asking the question, “What can I do?”.  At Patriot’s Hope, we want to highlight some of these organizations and present, over the course of several articles, almost a catalog, if you will, of places where each of us can plug in to be used effectively in this work.  This is the first article in this new series.  As you read this and subsequent articles, we invite you to find the spot(s) in this fight that best suit your interests and abilities and most importantly – God’s calling for you.  In the classes we host, my wife often talks about this as “finding your lane”.  Find the lane you are supposed to run in – find the job you are called to do – and do it at full speed!  Do it as if your very country and your freedom and the American way of life depend on it…  because that is exactly the case. 

A Lesson from Nehemiah

The Old Testament Book of Nehemiah feels particularly applicable to this subject.  In the opening of the book, we quickly learn the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and the gates were burned – very similar to the state of American, constitutional, limited government in today’s world… 

One applicable lesson we take from the Book of Nehemiah in this work is the principle that when Nehemiah led the project to restore the broken-down walls of Jerusalem, each worker focused on his part of the wall.  Nobody had to do the whole thing.  Each one did his part diligently and the whole project came together very quickly.  We need to employ that same strategy.  Let’s not allow each other to get overwhelmed at the magnitude of the whole project – that would effectively pull us out of the fight – we just need each one of us to work on our part of it.  Remember your lane – get plugged in where you’re supposed to be and go full speed! 

A second lesson from Nehemiah

Another lesson we can learn from the Book of Nehemiah is the one that is important to consider first as we look at the size and scope of the re-building job before us.  Right after Nehemiah received the report of the broken-down condition of Jerusalem, he says in Chapter 1:

“And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. “            

Nehemiah 1:4-6

Nehemiah’s first reaction was to pray.  In fact, he prayed a prayer of repentance.  He confessed the sins of “the children of Israel”, but he went on to also confess that, “I and my father’s house have sinned.”  Let us follow Nehemiah’s example in this.  It is ok to weep and mourn for the condition of our country, but let us then turn to God in prayer, and may our prayers start with repentance of our national – as well as our personal – sins against God. 

Familiar Passage from 2 Chronicles

Nehemiah’s prayers of repentance on behalf of his nation, and on behalf of his family and himself remind me of a familiar passage in 2 Chronicles 7:14.  God was talking to Solomon, the King of Israel after King David had died.  Solomon had just completed building the Temple in Jerusalem.  God was telling him how Israel could return, if (or when) they moved away from God. 

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”         

2 Chronicles 7:14

2 Chronicles 7:14

So regardless of where we plug in, regardless of which organization we involve ourselves with, regardless of the battle we engage in, may we begin with prayer and repentance.  Like Nehemiah, we need to repent of our nation’s sin, but we need to repent of our personal sins as well. 

Prayer and Repentance

You may ask, how in the world does me praying and repenting of my sin contribute to our land being healed?  The truth is, I have no idea…  I just know God Himself gave that guidance to King Solomon.  I know that Nehemiah demonstrated this clearly when he began his successful rebuilding of Jerusalem.  It is a critically important principle of God’s Word, so we need to do that first…  Let’s all first take a good look at our prayer life.  Let’s all hit our knees more regularly, more diligently, and become people of prayer and repentance.  That is step one… 

Conclusion

Patriot’s Hope has talked about the importance of prayer as one of the foundations of The Recipe for Saving America. I am going to end this first article in our Action Steps series.  If you are still reading this, you have not yet had time to better focus your prayer time.  So, we started with each of us asking, “What can I do?”.  The first answer is to pray.  Pray for our country.  Repent for our national sins – which are many.  Repent for the sins of our families and of ourselves.  Pray for God to change the hearts of (or replace) those in public office.  Pray for our nation.  Pray for repentance.  Let’s all ask God to heal our land.  I will give you (and me) time to work on that and in the next few articles we will discuss different organizations, different jobs, and how we can plug into the job of making things better and repairing our little piece of the wall.  But for now, it’s time to pray… 

Other posts in this series:

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About Patriot's hope

Where Patriotism is Alive and Hope Abounds!  

Patriot’s Hope is a place to encourage each other as we strive to restore the American form of Constitutional government.

We speak the truth, point out the hope, do our duty, and leave the results to God.

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Comments

18 Comments

  1. Merle Archer

    Thank you for this article. Especially love Nehemiah and the Chronicles verses. Praying is something I have been struggling with right now. It is helpful to know the Founding Fathers had to be reminded to pray while they were doing the business of the Constitution and Declaration.

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      I know what you mean – we can all use that reminder! Great point on the founders being reminded to pray at the Constitutional Convention. We can benefit from Benjamin Franklin’s words there where he reminded them, “have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?” I would also say with Mr Franklin that an empire can likely not be restored nor freedom preserved without God’s aid either! May we all take the reminder and pray for our country. Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
    • Tom Baum

      Thank you for this post. It’s interesting that I have been praying for God’s guidance on how I can help and here you have suggested we start with prayer! Prayer helps open our hearts to His purpose for us. I thus eagerly await what the Lord has in store as I digest your future posts.

      Reply
    • Julia

      There is so much power in prayer. And Yes, we do need to pray for everyone to repent and return to their childlike faith in Our Lord. It is imperative that we seek God wholeheartedly in this time of peril🙏

      Reply
      • Jason Southerland

        Amen! Prayer and repentance is the example we see in Scripture and if there is to be any hope, we need to start there for sure! Thank you for the comment!

        Reply
  2. Ken Clifton

    I too like that you remind us to pray. Bring me clean into your Spirit, bring me into your grace. Often, I try to do too much. However, I know that if I pray, and do what God tells me to do, then I will see his power multiply my actions. We must band together and do what we can do, and a little bit at a time we will see change.

    Reply
    • RaShell Southerland

      Ken, you are so right! It’s easy to underestimate the “little steps”. We can all do something. Together, all those little steps add up to big change. Find out what God wants you to do and go do it! “Duty is ours, results are God’s.” -John Quincy Adams

      Reply
  3. Trisha

    I’ve been praying and sharing what I’m learning with my prayer group and my family. I hear so many saying things like “i cant listen to that anymore, please don’t talk about it. It doesn’t help, nothing’s going to be done”. It makes me want to cry but i say “you need to hear so you can know what to pray for. Please pray”. Right now, that’s all i can do. I wish i was able to get involved in my community.

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      I agree prayer is a great thing to do! None of us will save this country without God’s hand working on our behalf, and I feel like there is a lot of repentance we need as a nation before it is reasonable to think He will save us. I will quote a little story I mention in another article…

      “In the winter of 1777, Benjamin Rush sat next to John Adams in Congress, and whispered to him, and asked Mr. Adams if he thought “we should succeed in our struggle with Great Britain”. At that time, the colonies were engaged in a war with the world’s greatest superpower. Still, to Benjamin Rush’s question, John Adams answered “Yes—If we fear God, and repent of our Sins.” There has always been a connection between the state of the heart of the people of God, and His blessing upon them. Our founders, like John Adams in this conversation, realized this.”

      So yes, I agree with you – pray for our country! Find what God would have each of us to do and let’s do it at full speed! Thank you for your comment.

      Reply
  4. Lynda Miller

    Nehemiah is one of my favorite books. People need to have direction when they are being asked to participate. It doesn’t matter how old they are or how skilled. They also need to be respected. An example is back in 1992 I volunteered my time as a Crisis Counselor at a domestic violence shelter to work with the clients and to answer the Crisis Line. Those are what I was told when they asked me. Great I can do that. When I went to work on my shift I was not given the crisis line to answer or to work with the clients. Okay! The person that was giving me instructions told me to move all the contents of the huge chest freezer (I am vertically challenged so it was difficult not to fall in). I was to move it all to the large upright freezer next to it. No problem. I completed the assignment, didn’t get to work with the clients or answer the phone. Oh I also had to clean the employee restroom and make copies. The next night I came back and the person on duty got all over me for moving the contents and she made me put it back. Really! I did it. This went on for two weeks until I said no more! When they hired me to run a counseling program and then to take over the volunteer program you can guess what I did. I am not to good to clean anything but I found that the paid employees treated all the volunteers like they were there to just run fetch for them. I am a Baby Boomer and that is not how we function. Nehemiah was very smart because he first sought direction from God and he treated the people with respect. He gave them directions and why. They had ownership over there portion of the wall and not only rebuilt it but defended it.

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      Yes, I love the Book of Nehemiah also. Thank you for your comment. Thank you also for your service at the shelter. I wish they would have made better use of your abilities.

      Reply
  5. Greg Davis

    Yes, we need to pray & repent! Looking back, I thought why repent? Then I realized I help create these perilous times. I’m part of We the People & I’ve been ignorant, unconcerned & inactive(other than voting) pertaining to a constitutional republic. I need to find my lane! Thanks for having this class & God Bless!

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      Like I mentioned in the article, I really don’t know how our repentance leads to God saving our nation. I just know that’s what God says in the Scriptures! So, yes, I agree we definitely need to do it! Thank you for your comment, and for being a part of the class as well!

      Reply
  6. Lela G. Goar

    We must never forget the power of prayer. Thanks so much for this article. It is a good reminder for all of us to pray. We need forgiveness for ourselves for being too laid back at times and not speaking out forcefully when we see things that need to be corrected. We also need to pray for our leaders that they will come to their senses and realize that there is a power higher than they are (even as difficult for some of them to realize).

    It is extremely important for all of us to remember that God is in charge and we must keep praying and have faith and trust in Him.

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      Amen! Our founders and all through the early years of our nation, there was no doubt as to the fact that God was higher than they were, and that Americans (as well as they themselves) knew they had a duty to serve God. May we return to that kind of a mindset, and may God save our nation. Thank you so much for your comment!

      Reply
  7. Karina Jones

    When I think upon all that I feel/see going wrong in our great nation, I get easily overwhelmed. Thank you for the Nehemiah reminder to just focus on “my part” where I can “stay in my lane” and maybe help right the ship.

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      Yes! None of us can fight it all at the same time so it’s very important to remember that each of us should focus on the part right in front of us. If we are all working on our part at the same time, then together we will make a huge difference! Thank you for your comment!

      Reply

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