Alright, I’ve been cynical, critical, dooms-day-ish, and awefully snarky lately.
Yesterday I was on a Facebook page that had dozens of hilarious “Liberty Memes” that had me in stitches, and I started to repost about 10 of them. The problem is that the snarky, cynical nature of the posts are not the honorable way I desire to act. I apologize for the some of the flippant posts I put out there – but I also ask that you afford Me (and everyone) grace to debate, tease, and lambast their political foes a bit.
But on to what I’m focused on:
It’s high time we all drop to our knees and Genuinely pray for Hillary and Trump.
James, the brother of Jesus, wrote in a letter that “The earnest prayers of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” James 5:16. For those of us who are disciples of Jesus, do we have the bona-fide kind of faith which Jesus incites, that trusts that God would honor and perhaps listen to our prayers for our presidents?
I realize that I’ve been a fool. I ALWAYS criticize Barack Obama, and I’ve even reveled as I’ve seen the progressive agenda fail when executed. What’s worse, is that I NEVER EVER pray for Barack Obama.
What kind of faith doesn’t lift up a person in prayer, particularly one who’s representing us on a global scale, making tremendously difficult choices about which nations to defend, which cruel dictators need opposition, and which laws to support and legislate?
If anyone needs the earnest prayers of a righteous person, it’s our President.
God is in control of all this, and God’s main work is to reconcile people to Himself, through faith and trust in Jesus. Both seemingly “evil” and “good” things are used to spur people along to recognize there is a God, repent, and place their faith and trust in Him so they can receive eternal life, abundant life on earth, and the outcomes of being in a deep relationship with Him. These outcomes are gifts such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
Three ways I’m praying for Hillary, Trump, and Obama:
1 – That they would come to faith in Christ if they haven’t already.
This one is pretty simple. I’m going to ask that God would cause them to place their faith and trust in Jesus if they haven’t already. I have no idea if they have a bona-fide, authentic relationship with Jesus and have placed their trust in Him.
Whether it’s through another person’s testimony, the desire to get help carrying their burdens, or their sudden realization that they are hell-bound, I just hope they believe Jesus was who He claimed to be, realize their need for a savior from the judgement that their sins carry, and come to Jesus in faith to justify them before God.
Here are the pieces of the Gospel if you didn’t know them:
a – There is a God who created it all, and He’s in charge. He’s revealed Hiimself to humanity over the ages, and we can know Him by both science and His revelations through now-written testimony. He also created all the laws of our universe, from science, logic, philosophy to moral law. God’s moral law was known before Moses, but was captured by Moses during an important moment. God’s moral law is captured in the command to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to Love your neighbor as yourself”. Just underneath this, is the ten commandments and then the litany of other laws. We cannot fully obey God’s perfect and Holy moral laws, we need to rely on Him.
b – He created the world, and created humans to be in a close relationship with Him. The first two humans were given tremendous goodness and blessing and allowed to have a close, loving relationship with God which involved choice to obey His simple law. The choice presented to Humans was to Love God with everything, Love each other, and thrive through their God-given liberties; and honor this by not eating the fruit of a certain tree.
c – Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve broke their relationship with God by disobeying His very simple law. Sin separated humans from God, and they then needed to be reconciled to Him through atonement. The first atonement was when Adam and Eve sinned, God sacrificed an animal and placed the skin on them.
d – All people are now born sinners because we break God’s law. Anyone who truly knows themselves, or has been around humans under the age of 25, knows that we all break God’s moral code constantly.
Not sure if you break God’s moral code? here they are:
- Have no other God’s – don’t put anything or anyone before your relationship with God.
- Shall not make any idols, don’t bow to anything but God
- Do not take the Lord’s name in vain. Don’t use your lips to dishonor God
- Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy
- Honor your father and your mother
- You shall not murder
- You shall not commit adultery (in your heart by lusting or in action)
- You shall not steal (anything! employer time, staples, gum, anything)
- You shall not lie (even white lies)
- You shall not covet (be anything but fully satisfied with what God has blessed you with)
The point of this list is to show us that we are not holy, and we have all broken these laws. Truly, only God can make us right before HIm.
e – Jesus’ work on the cross paid the penalty for breaking God’s law. God promised, right away when the curse of sin was placed on Humans, that a savior would come to “crush the head” of this new calamity. The “Messiah” or savior from this calamity was promised, talked about, and predicted for millennia before He showed up EXACTLY as predicted in the first century AD. Jesus of Nazareth was sent to fulfill the prophecy. Jesus was when God chose to come down here in full humanity, live a perfect life that was subject to the temptation to sin, but would live sinless. Then He became the perfect sacrifice for all of humanities sin and He then PAID THE PENALTY for every sin ever committed by any person both past and present.
f – Jesus paid the penalty, and He said that if we just beleive in Him, trust in Him, and place our faith in His work on the cross as this sacrifice, then we receive the free gift of God. The free gift is a new reconciled relationship to God, a payment for the penalty of our sins, eternal life in heaven, a new abundant life on earth, and our bodies become the new temple for God’s spirit to abide on earth.
g – when we believe, we receive this very real gift, and tit changes our lives. The main thing is that God gives us new desires, attitudes, passions, and makes us focused on love. Because of this real “rebirth”, we obey God’s commands which are all about being masters in the “Craft” of “Loving God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind and loving our neighbor as ourselves”
h – now that we are justified before God, our guilty sentence is paid for, and our life is made new and abundant, we share this good news with others in a respectful, real, and loving manner. This is the “Church”, the members of God’s real family honoring, worshiping, and seeking His kingdom in our lives together. Local congregations are different flavors of this being lived out.
2 – That they would have the DESIRE and the POWER to honor God
This is important. Paul, who was a super-expert in the Old Testament, studied with the apostles of Jesus for years, and who was called into the ministry of Church planting by Jesus Himself, wrote to a group of beleiver in a letter called “Phillippians” the following:
“For it is God at work within us, both to will and to act in order to fulfill [God’s] good purposes” 2:13
This means that we need God to work in these people to have the desire to act in accordance to God’s will, and to the have the power to actually follow through and DO what it is that God would want.
Failure of Nerve is the major problem for politicians these days. The don’t want to do what’s the responsible thing because it’s not politically expedient. They won’t layoff the thousands of government employees, cut social security benefits, or reduce the other entitlements which are literally being paid for by debt alone. They don’t fix things because it means they won’t be reelected after they shut off the spout of irresponsible entitlements, handouts, or inefficient bureaucratic government employers.
We need to pray that they will have the proper desires and motivations and then we should pray that they’ll have the power or gumption to execute on the God honoring ways to steward this nation and their power.
3 – That they will seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly
These are kind of the basics of how God tells us to act. These are good specifics to the broad type of prayer from number 2.
I don’t need to exposit this verse but the idea is to put some biblical specifics to the way we pray for their desires. We can have all sorts of opinions about what we think politicians ought to do, but this top-level directive is set by God as given through His spokesman Micah to the leaders of Israel back in the last half of the 8th century BC.
What if our specific political strategies are actually foolish? Would our prayers then be short-sighted and unwise prayers? Possibly.
My thought here is that these are macro-level themes are ones that we know God desires in our leaders. Justice must be executed, we ought to be merciful and compassionate to all, and humility is the most potent characteristic anyone can wield.
humility is the most potent characteristic anyone can wield.
So lets all take a moment to pray that Trump, Hillary, and Obama would all come to faith in Christ if they haven’t, have the desire and power to do what honors Him, and specifically do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.