The past week has been … well … eventful. Despite the apparent disapproval of the majority of people, health care reform has been passed in a massive sweeping bill that will have enormous implications upon our land and economy. Honestly, I hope that the whole mess gets overturned in the courts. Not that I am against health care reform, I’m not. Like most people, I favor health care reform, but am opposed to the provisions of this bill and appalled by the methods used to pass it. I did not sit down to write about health care reform but about something far more important.
This issue shows how deeply divided we are right now as a country. This is not a Democrat – Republican division, although there is an element of that in this. In truth, it dates back to the foundations of this nation when the debate was between Federalists and Jeffersonian Democrats. The Federalists favored a strong central government while the Jeffersonian Democrats were concerned with protecting states rights. To put it another way, the debate was over big central government versus small local government. But I did not set out to talk about this either.
I mentioned a deep division earlier. Our society in this nation is deeply torn right now, this is not something new, but a rift that has been growing for years, one that I suppose was inevitable. I will not deal with the origins; those are a subject for another day, and another posting, probably many postings. My concern for today is that the divisiveness of the issue and the apparent arrogance of the political leadership in Washington DC have caused many to stop praying for our leadership. Paul exhorts us in 1 Timothy 2:1-3:
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…
We are not to pray for our leaders because we agree with them. We are to pray for them because they ARE our leaders. Pray for their wisdom; pray that God would guide them into His perfect will. It does not matter what their spiritual status is, it doesn’t matter what they believe, God is greater than that. Proverbs 21:1 tells us:
The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
Cyrus was a pagan king, yet the word tells us that God used him to put in motion the restoration of Jerusalem prophesied by Jeremiah. In fact, in Isaiah 44 and 45 God refers to Cyrus as “His shepherd” and “My anointed”. Certainly, then God can use our president and leaders of congress to accomplish His purpose.
So then pray for our leaders. Pray that God would use them in a mighty way. Pray that the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened. Pray that they would come into a personal relationship with our Lord. If they already know the Lord, pray that they grow in that relationship, that it would become deeper. Pray that they hear and do the will of the Father. If things seem to be going the other way, pray all the harder for God’s will be done. Pray for wisdom and pray for grace. Grace for ourselves, our leaders, our nation and our world. Most of all pray for revival – an awakening on the order of the Great Awakenings that have gone before. Pray for a nation impacting awakening that will change our course as a nation. Pray, pray, pray.
Winston Churchill visited a school in 1941. While speaking to the students, he said to them:
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
Let us apply this lesson to our lives. It matters not how things may look, how big the problems, how great the issues. What matters is what God says, and what He wills. Focus on these things, and proclaim His will be done in prayer and supplication. Seek and proclaim the Kingdom of God at all times.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Put on the armor of God, take up your sword and shield and step into the gap for our leaders, and for our country.