Last week saw the National Day of Prayer.
It is a time that has been set aside in our nation to remind us that we need to pray for our nation and our leaders. It is not the ONE day each year we are encouraged to pray, it is a time we are reminded we need to pray EACH AND EVERY DAY.
Over two-hundred years ago George Washington said, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God.” At other times Washington acknowledged, as did other great men such as Abraham Lincoln, that it was impossible to lead this country without prayer. When they said such things they did not mean that the president of the United States alone needed to pray. Rather it is the duty of every American to pray for the wisdom, compassion and grace of God to be poured out on the leaders of our country.
How can they make decisions that will affect so many lives, often even lives not yet born, if they do not receive wisdom from God who knows beyond space and time? If God is sovereign, and He is, how foolish and arrogant not to ask His guidance for our decisions, as well as for the decisions of the leaders of our country.
And do not think such prayers are reserved for the national leaders. Many laws and rules that have far more impact on your family’s lives are made at the state and local level, including the local school districts. Far more moral and ethical enemies lurk in our own town than may stroll the halls of Congress.
There are those who would attempt to subvert the media so as to spin the information we receive in a way to deceive us.
There are those who would try to stack the courts with activist judges would attempt to write law from the bench. There are many in the medical sciences who are more concerned about finding cures than they are about the lives they may destroy in the search. There are those who would rob us of every freedom we embrace in exchange for a promise of possible safety.
And there are those who would cloak themselves in a robe of respectability in order to prey on the innocent.
More than one nation in history has sold itself out by banking on the cleverness of man instead of trusting to the faithfulness of God. God has made it abundantly clear that His concerns for a nation focus on our willingness to secure justice for all, especially the weakest ones among us. He is determined to show compassion on the nations that act in compassion toward its people and its neighbors. We must pray that our leaders at all levels live up to such a challenge, for it is non-negotiable with God. And if our leaders fail to comply with the Ruler of the universe we should pray that He would replace them.
The word of God says we are to pray for kings, governors and those in authority. The Bible further says we are to pray for all men. I believe that to include our mayors, our chief of police, our sheriff, and the officers under them, our city and county attorneys, our school superintendents, as well as our local clergy. If we are not willing to pray on their behalf how can we expect God to bless them in a way that will edify our lives?
Sixty years ago saw the end to the most destructive war this world has ever known. Without a doubt there was much, much prayer during that war. The question is, could such a war have been avoided by much, much prayer? If every citizen of every country prayed daily that God would grant grace and compassion and wisdom to their leaders so that they could make wise decisions, could it help? We cannot always know.
But this we do know, it couldn’t hurt. You cannot force others to pray; but no one can stop you from your duty of prayer.