The Secret to National Prosperity

By Francis Frangipane

For whatever ungodly conditions remain in the U.S., there are two biblical mandates America does obey that are fundamental to its economy and prosperity. I refer to them as "secrets" because, as Christians, we often speak of our nation as though it was completely without virtue.

I personally have felt the Lord's displeasure whenever I murmur or complain. After I repent for ingratitude, it is amazing how I am lifted above my circumstances; they are not as dark as they first appeared. Indeed, I actually can see what God is doing when I begin my intercession with thanksgiving.

So, even as we mourn for America's sins, we must also remain thankful to God for its virtues. It is not enough that we doctrinally know the truth of God if our attitudes contradict that knowledge. Thus, Paul warns,

"For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened."
-Rom 1:21

To pray without giving thanks dishonors God; it opens the door to futility, and darkens our heart's capacity to see the Lord and the blessings He has bestowed. Indeed, an unthankful heart is a grumbling heart, which makes our lives vulnerable to be "destroyed by the destroyer" (1 Cor 10:10). I have a Swedish friend, Lars Enarson, who taught me a great truth. He said, "Thanksgiving is the language of faith." Jesus prayed with thanksgiving (see John 11:41; Mark 8:6); Paul taught that we should always pray "with thanksgiving" (Phil 4:6). Ingratitude is a major stronghold in the church in America. We need to repent of it if we will truly fulfill God's will (see 1 Thess 5:18).

So, what has America been doing right that, according to God's Word, carries the promise of economic well-being? First, the United States is a giving nation. In fact, in the history of mankind there simply has never been a nation more charitable to other nations.

I know that a number of my colleagues are predicting divine wrath upon America's economy, but I would ask them to rethink or consider prayerfully the words of Jesus concerning the principle of giving. He said,

"Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."      
-Luke 6:38

The United States has cast its bread upon many waters and, economically and relationally, it is being returned to us. Think about it: when was there a calamity anywhere in the world where the suffering people were not helped by American hands, resources and finances? In fact, as the news breaks of a major disaster, American charitable agencies kick into action. Within hours, volunteers are at the scene and within days millions of dollars pour toward the need.

Here is an excerpt of a letter from a professor in Wisconsin. He wrote in response to the first two chapters of this book, which were published beforehand in our newsletter. He writes,

A doctor from a Rotary Club at the University of Minnesota was reporting on a project in Chile which his club and mine have jointly sponsored. We have been helping a school for deaf children with needed equipment, from school supplies and playground equipment to modern hearing aids which have been donated by a local manufacturer, Starkey Labs. At the end of his slides showing the school and the kids wearing their new hearing aids, he showed a picture of an older man. He said, "This man is originally from France. He told me that any place in the world that you see people from one country reaching out to help other countries, the Americans are behind it."

The amazing thing is that, for Americans, it does not take much coaxing to reach out and help. As soon as we hear of suffering people somewhere, we are looking for a way to respond. In fact, the president and chief executive officer of the national Council on Foundations, Dorothy Ridings, stated, "American giving to churches, foundations and other groups, is so phenomenal that this is being called the golden age of philanthropy" (Cedar Rapids Gazette, April 10, 1999).

God sees the suffering of mankind. Because of His great love, the Lord is touched by human tragedy, whether the suffering is in Africa or Central America, Kosovo or North Korea. In very real ways Americans seek to alleviate this sorrow among all peoples (see Judges 10:16; Heb 4:15 amplified).

Again, God promises,

"He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed.
" -Prov 19:17

I believe a certain measure of American economic strength is attached to the generosity of this nation toward others. It is a blessing upon our land.

The Jewish Connection
There is a T-shirt sold in the Holy Land that reads, "Don't worry, America, Israel is right behind you." There is a special friendship that exists between America and Israel that is unique in all the world. America has been especially generous and compassionate toward Israel. In fact, no nation in the history of the world has stood with Israel as we have over the last half century.

To understand what this means to God, we must look at His promise to Abraham:

Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you;

"And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
-Gen 12:1-3

In the very first promise that the Lord gave to Abraham, He provided a means for all nations to receive and sustain divine blessings. He said, "I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse."

This promise was not limited to Abraham, but it was passed on to Isaac and then to Jacob, to whom the Lord gave the name, Israel. In the Old Testament, Balaam prophesied under divine inspiration. He said of Israel, "Blessed is everyone who blesses you, and cursed is everyone who curses you" (Num 24:9).

Today, the people of Israel have inherited a most unique position among all nations: their origin can be tracked directly to an encounter with God. Israel's historic relationship with the Almighty makes the Jews a symbol, a unique possession, of God in the earth. The Lord has dwelt in their midst. From their beginning the Jews have been a people called by God unto Himself. The word holy means "set apart for God." As such, Israel, its land, and its destiny are holy, or "set apart" to the Lord. The people yet need revival. There is much need of prayer and support, but the God who brought them back will also raise them up.

Israel's relationship with America
According to former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there has "never been in Israel's long history a friend like the U.S." (speech welcoming President Clinton to Israel, Fall 1998). This is quite an endorsement, and it is true: America has been the most faithful, absolutely the strongest, and by far the most generous friend Israel has ever had.

As we said earlier, if there had been no U.S., there would be no Israel. The Jewish state has grown and become stable and is now prospering because God has used American strength and generosity. Indeed, the very fact that Israel has survived is because it grew up under the shelter of American friendship and commitment (see appendix for comments from various presidents concerning the Jews and Israel).

Israel receives more foreign aid from the U.S. than any nation, currently over five billion dollars a year. Additionally, it receives several billions of dollars annually in charitable contributions from North America and Europe but, again, the biggest donor nation is America.

Remember what the Lord told Abraham? "I will bless those who bless you." It was only a few years ago that the deficit was climbing to over five trillion dollars; now the U.S. has to decide what to do with its annual surpluses. America has been blessed with the strongest economy in the world, and nations throughout the world use the U.S. dollar as a secondary currency. To have a stable economy is not a sin. It is a blessing.

Yet, good people keep predicting the collapse and death of the American economy. It is true that the Lord will withhold certain appointed blessings if there is sin in other areas of our lives, so we must proceed with humility and the fear of the Lord.

But I want to add another observation concerning Israel and the United States. I call this an observation, but it is more the awareness of a supernatural mystery surrounding the relationship between Israel and America. It is something holy that is attached to our mutual destiny.
Since WWII, there has been a parallel between the United States and Israel. Both have risen together into the forefront of human affairs; both have deep spiritual roots in the God of the Bible. I feel, somehow, as revival comes to America it will not only touch the world; it will also birth the moving of God in Israel.

"For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved." -Rom 11:25-26

Listen to this thought: "a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in." God's plan for Israel is activated after the fulness of the Gentiles come to Christ. The entire sequence of end-time events stands in the wings waiting for the fulness of the Gentile harvest-and America in revival is key to this worldwide ingathering.

One More Thought
Besides America's charitable side toward the needy of the world and Israel, there is one other consideration. The economic stability of the nation has run parallel with the emergence of the prayer movement. The Scriptures tell us, "By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down" (Prov 11:11).

Since the church has begun to bless America's cities, and pray for this nation and its leaders, we have seen the blessing of the Lord return upon us. I realize that economic conditions run in cycles and that, at the time of this writing, we are at the peak of growth. This could all change tomorrow, and will certainly be adjusted and shaken by the global effects of the Y2K problem. However, the words that experts are currently using to describe America's economy are all superlatives: "phenomenal," "extraordinary," "unprecedented," to name a few.

I don't think we realize the impact that the prayer movement has had on bringing change to the world. We are seeing so many areas transformed in our society: the statistics for crime, abortion, divorce and sexually active teens are lowering; God is doing a great work. It is also inevitable that there will be tremors in the financial sector of the world. However, for as long as we continue giving to oppressed peoples, particularly Israel, I think America's economy will continue to be resurgent and strong for the near future.