Saturday, November 15, 2008

It’s Much More Than Praying, “God bless the President!”

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time…” --- 1 Timothy 2:1-6

In the midst of much criticism associated with the campaigns and the election process, there are those voices which here and there cry out that we need to get behind our newly elected president and pray for him and the members of his administration.

The appeal for prayer is a staple among those who claim to be “evangelical” in their faith. Often the prayers that are uttered are packed full of “bless him..her …this or that” expressions. It seems the “blessing” of God is the point of focus and that God is urged to just pour out blessing after blessing upon our nation, its leaders and its millions of citizens.

It is painfully obvious that we fail to realize that special blessings of God are conditional – they always have been and always will be. And there are those common benefits God grants to all individuals whether they be conscious of that or not, as noted when He gives rain which falls on the righteous as well as upon the wicked, etc.

Can God really bless the individual, for instance, who supports the destruction of large numbers of unborn children in the womb – children for which this same God has a high and holy purpose after they are born into the world?

And if such an individual rises to become the most powerful leader in the world, then what does one seek from God on behalf of that person? It can’t be a “blessing” or “special favor” but it can be something else. It can be a seeking that God in His infinite power will do whatever necessary to bring that leader to a state of repentance with a new understanding of God’s ways and purposes as it applies to the members of the human race.

It means also a seeking that God will confront such a leader with the fact that the nation he is attempting to lead has drifted far from the principles and standards as originally established by God at the beginning for a culture’s unity, health, strength, prosperity and ongoing survival!

The common problem as exhibited by elected officials over time is the attempt to address problems related to the economy, the environment, education of the young, health care, immigration, international crises, etc. But they will not address the ethical, moral and spiritual decay which is steering the nation on a course to sure and certain collapse! On second thought, perhaps the major reason for this is the fact that too many elected officials are a major part of those ethical, moral and spiritual problems!

So, pray for elected leaders – for the President, Vice President, Chief of Staff, members of the Cabinet, the members of the U.S. Congress and the leadership in that body, etc. But move far beyond the “bless so and so” prayer, seeking that God will do whatever necessary to bring this nation and its leaders (political and church) to repent of the massive wickedness of which the nation is guilty at the present time, forsaking all sin, and seeking His holy will in all activities and relationships – to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ, Who is Savior, Lord and our soon returning King!

It is also wise to keep in the back of the mind that God deals with nations which profess to believe in Him in two possible ways -- first, when a nation gets out of line He will bring various chastisements upon that nation -- a series of calamities of various kinds over time. If that does not eventually bring the people to seek Him in a true spirit of repentance then He will bring judgment upon the rebel nation. Chastising actions mean there is hope, if repentance quickly follows -- but judgment means there is no hope -- only disaster and devastation will take place once God initiates judgment against a nation. 2 Chronicles 36 clearly reveals the pattern!

One of many helpful guidelines for praying beyond the "bless so and so" level is found in the following -- that is, if we have not crossed that "line in the sand" which God has etched with His sword of judgment:

To You I will cry, O LORD my Rock: do not be silent to me, lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary. Do not take me away with the wicked and with the workers of iniquity, who speak peace to their neighbors, but evil is in their hearts. Give to them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give to them according to the work of their hands; render to them what they deserve. Because they do not regard the works of the LORD, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them and not build them up. Blessed be the LORD, because He has heard the voice of my supplications! --- Psalm 28:1-6

Oh, a PS on this one: Do you suppose that statement about certain persons failing to regard the works of the Lord and the operation of His hands could apply to God's activity in forming a human being in the womb? Want a little help on that? Read Psalm 139 -- it gets very interesting in discussing certain things that God does!

No comments: