The True Strength of America

The Day After 9/11/01
by Jefferis Kent Peterson

The true strength of America is not in the might of her military nor in the power of her armies. Our strength has been hidden from the world's eyes.
The true strength of America is not in her economy, though many have been tempted to think that it was.
The true strength of America is not even in her way of life.
No. What makes us strong cannot be taken from us by terror – nor that which makes us great be taken from us by attacking outward signs of power.
For the true Might of America is her people on their knees.

Our enemies do not realize what they have done. They thought they could attack the symbols of our strength and bring us to our knees in cowardly fear. They have succeeded, but not in the way they hoped. For we are not bending our knees in surrender; we are going to our knees in prayer to appeal the power of Almighty God.

Make no mistake about it. We have been attacked because of our choice of friends and for those we have defended. We are hated with the same hatred our friends have suffered, and now we also feel the pain and the fury of that hate. But we as a people do not abandon our friends when under attack. That is not in America's character. It is not in our destiny. When we are attacked for the sake of others, our resolve only grows.

Let us not stoop to the level of our adversaries and so become like them in character. Let us appeal our cause to the Supreme Judge of the Universe, that justice may be complete. Let us not scream for vengeance, because vengeance is the Lord's to take,(1) but let us purify our hearts so that we might be a holy sword of his justice on the earth.

We have the right to appeal to God for justice and to cry out for our vindication.(2) We have the right to ask Him to judge between us and our adversaries. So let us do that.

Will you join me in prayer?

O Lord, forgive us our many sins that we as a nation have committed. We do not presume to come to You pretending that we have not at times yielded as a nation to greed and pride. We have. We ask Your forgiveness for our sins and misdeeds; for we have been humbled. Purify us, we pray, that we might become a holy sword in Your hands and an instrument of Your justice on the earth. Let us not fight our fight, but Yours. Vindicate us O God in the face of our enemies that they may not gloat over us!

Hear O God and defend us, for our cause is a just cause. Look upon us and hear our cries. We are attacked because we have defended Israel. Our innocents have been slaughtered and our children butchered, all because we have made friends with those who have suffered the hatred of many nations for a hundred generations, and who are still hated today. Their enemies want the people of Israel to be eliminated from the face of the earth. Can there be justice in this? Are we wrong to defend them? Judge us, O Lord! And judge for us, we pray.

Lord, we have been wounded for the sake of our friends. We ask You to judge between us and our adversaries and render Your justice and judgments on the earth.(3) Decide between us, Lord, and let Your decisions be known. And may we be an instrument of your just peace upon this earth while we yet stand as a nation.

We commit our cause and our way to You, O Lord, for only You have the right to judge the earth. Let our enemies be put on notice and tremble. They have unleashed the Lion, and His roar shakes the earth.


1) Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord," (Romans 12:19).

Know this, my beloved family. Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God,(James 1:19,20, )

2) And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? (Luke 18:7).

3) May the LORD therefore be judge, and give sentence between me and you, and see to it, and plead my cause, and deliver me from your hand. (1 Samuel 24:15).

For You have maintained my just cause; You have sat on the throne giving righteous judgment. You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name for ever and ever. The enemy have vanished in everlasting ruins; their cities You have rooted out; the very memory of them has perished. But the LORD sits enthroned for ever, he has established his throne for judgment; and he judges the world with righteousness, he judges the peoples with equity. The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know thy name put their trust in thee, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek thee. Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted. Be gracious to me, O LORD! Behold what I suffer from those who hate me, O You who liftest me up from the gates of death, (Psalms 9:4-13).

Rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:3,4, RSV).


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