I LOVE the fact that God’s Word was written hundreds and thousands of years ago, by so many different authors over a period of thousands of years AND YET the truths of His wonderful word still resonate just as powerful TODAY! See what I mean in today’s passage (I’m finally trying to get back into sharing some thoughts from my devotion times – which have been almost non-existent lately and I am hoping that working this into my blog will help with accountability)
With all that is going on in our country and the excitement of the proceedings of yesterday’s HISTORIC INAUGURATION events I wanted to seek some advice and insight from the pages of God’s Word! Now some of what I am going to look at is NOTHING NEW – in fact at least 3 of my friends and “co-bloggers” hit on this same topic at some point yesterday – check out Jason Bedell’s post about “History Made” or Wayne Wagner’s “Praying for B.O.” or Aaron Saufley’s “Some Thoughts on the Presidential Inauguration” and see how they may have written different thoughts and words, but shared the same sentiment of the POWER and IMPORTANT PRACTICE of PRAYER FOR OUR PRESIDENT.
So today as I went in search of the words of Scripture as to our response for our leaders I came across and wonderful passage found in 1 Timothy 2:1-6. Paul is instructing young Timothy that we are to make “requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving for everyone” and here is the kicker for us today “FOR KINGS AND ALL THOSE IN AUTHORITY” (key the Presidential Intro music) – then he goes on to explain that we do so that we “may live peaceful and quite lives in all godliness and holiness” – man that sounds like some AWESOME stuff – but then I love the next part – not just cause it does us good and we will benefit so much from this practice – I mean yeah that is a definite bonus – but CHECK THIS – “this is GOOD and PLEASES GOD OUR SAVIOR – who wants ALL MEN to be SAVED and to come to a knowledge of the TRUTH”
Come on people – it just doesn’t get any better than this! Oh wait – yeah for all of you out there who are saying – “yeah but that can’t apply cause these leaders are not what they need to be – I can list a million reasons why they couldn’t care less about God -blah blah blah” – so let’s take a lil tour down memory lane – let’s see who was the ruling party when Paul wrote these words.
Um – yeah the Roman Emperor NERO, whom just in case you forgot, was one of the greatest persecutors of the early Church and Christians – he was in power during this time frame (64-68 AD) that Paul was writing this letter. So it doesn’t matter which party you choose – or if you are from a RED or BLUE state – or whom you did or didn’t vote for. It doesn’t matter if you think that President Obama and VP Joe Biden are the greatest or the worst. If you CALL YOURSELF A CHRIST-FOLLOWER and you TRULY desire to see the kind of CHANGE that God calls us to and that Christ empowers us for, then it is time for us EACH to take part. Take part in the POWER & PROMISE of PRAYER!
In President Obama’s speech and at other times he has called on ALL of us to play our part. He has made promises that he will do all he can to make sure government lives up to it’s end and makes the needed changes, but that will not be enough, it will take each of us as Americans to raise our own level. Now no matter what I agree with or disagree with – this is a sentiment that I am FULLY BEHIND. So as I have considered these things, and been convicted by the power of God’s word and been encouraged by the sentiments of my friends and other writers – HERE IS MY PLAN.
You see I don’t think just being one more in the multitude who say – ooo let’s pray for the pres (and many of those that do that, I fear may just be “saying those words” to sound “spiritual” or to ramble the rhetoric – or to be able to say “oh well I prayed for him, but see nothing changed and it is because he and the rest are just evil”) – I believe that FOR ME I need to set a plan, and be committed to that.
So here it is – I am committing to pray for the President and his family, and our leaders 5 days a week (the plan is each weekday) from now till July 4th (just figured that is a pretty “American” day, no real other reason that I am trying to shoot for about a 6 month period – I can’t IMAGINE how crazy the first 6 months will be for the new leadership). So this gives me about a 6 month plan and I am going to do my best effort to stick to this, I may fail at times, I may forget or falter, but I will not give up and I am asking any others who would like to join me. At the end of that 6 months who knows I may start up again, but what might things look like by this summer if GOD’s PEOPLE ROSE UP IN THE POWER OF PRAYER FOR OUR LEADERS just as 1 Timothy 2 calls us to do???
I am also not “praying with an agenda” in mind. I am not going to pray that Obama and the rest will “see things my way” or do what it is that I HAVE DECIDED is God’s will for our country – I am not praying the he put prayer back in schools or ends abortion or anything like that specifically (now before you try and SLAM me over that – I am not saying that I might not pray that God’s will becomes evident in these areas, what I mean is that I am not going to “pick and choose” what issues are of the most importance and pray for those specifically – and you may disagree with me and that’s cool I am NOT telling YOU how to pray) – I am going to pray that God’s WISDOM and GUIDANCE will be poured out upon these leaders. That if HEARTS NEED TO CHANGE that they will. That if COURAGE TO MAKE DECISIONS THAT ARE NOT PLEASANT needs to be had that it will be had. That if President Obama and the others TRULY ARE MEN OF FAITH and they SEEK GOD’S HEART that it will be evident in ALL THEY DO AND SAY. That if they are FAR FROM THE FATHER that there will be some instance, interaction, or endeavor that will lead them to the foot of the Cross and to fully surrender to our Savior. These will be the things I pray for the next 6 months.
So wherever you are, whomever you are, however you feel about any of these people. REMEMBER that God has used people of all backgrounds and makeups. He used a teen girl who was fully obedient to Him to bring His Son into the world, He used a man that was soooo righteous (Job) that satan begged to test him to see if he would fall away – to bring GLORY TO HIMSELF. God has used a man who took part in the hunting down and murdering of the early Christians (Paul – oh yeah the guy who wrote the passage I referred to earlier) to eventually become one of the greatest missionaries ever, He took a man who was an adulterer and murderer and transformed him into a “Man after God’s own heart” – SO NO MATTER what your opinion is of our newly elected leaders – THE POWER OF PRAYER and the PROMISE of the SPIRIT OF GOD GIVEN TO US THROUGH HIS SON is the ONLY THING that will bring about the NEEDED CHANGE – WE CANNOT, but WE CAN participate in the very thing that can – THROUGH PRAYER!
So I invite your thoughts and comments – I encourage your participation and commitment – but I IMPLORE YOUR PRAYERS!