Prayer Time

Mark 11: 17

And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

This may be one of the most important devotionals I write all year.  In May we celebrated the National Day of Prayer. I would like to suggest that today offers an opportunity for another day of unified national prayer.

The election is over. Regardless of the outcomes, it is time for healing. A nation divided against itself cannot stand. It is time for us to pray for our nation and for unification. Put down the axes and knives and pick up the Word. Healing, restoration and unity is the theme of post-election America. Only Christians can lead this important shift. Lay down thoughts and words of what could have been or should have been. This election has been full of vitriol. Now is the time for Christian ideology to rise to the surface. Christ says those values are prayer and love. The time for vitriolic dialogue is over.  We now enter into a time of national healing and a sense of community, caring for one another in the love and grace of our Lord Jesus.

Interestingly, Jesus said his house was supposed to be a place of prayer for all nations. That should give us pause. He lived in a much smaller world than do we and yet his vision was beyond the borders of his own country. Though he did not have world news on his phone 24/7, he knew there were people all over the globe who needed prayer. We too need to pray for all the nations of the world, especially in this time of a global viral crisis. In the first place, we can gain more by working together. Secondly, what happens in other parts of the world can affect us.

Certainly our “houses of prayer” should be safe zones and places of abundant love and acceptance. They should be places where we pray for all the people of the world. However, there is a nuance here that is even larger. It is that we have become the temple of God. We are houses of prayer. That means that wherever we are, the house of prayer is too. Have we made this temple a den of robbers? Or is it still a house of prayer? The answer to those two questions is of great importance and perhaps a bit concerning. We need not, however, be crushed by the weight of the problems around us. We are part of the needed answers because we have the privilege of going right into the throne room of the creator. Let unity begin in the Christian house where we all meet at the throne to praise our king and petition Him for the needed help.

I hope you agree with me that this is a time of much needed prayer. And if you agree, I will be pleased to join my prayers to yours. Bless you for your faithfulness in Christ.

The Way of Wisdom

Proverb 11: 11

By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.

So, yesterday was election day in the United States. Job done, right? No way. No matter what country you live in, registering your vote is the smallest part of the job. You can bless your city, country or province or you can curse it. Which shall it be?

Most of us do not understand the power we have as Christians to bring blessing everywhere we go. By our blessing, we are also blessed and this is no clearer than in the administration of government. Whether your candidate won or not, the real job begins now. We are taught to pray for our leaders, “First of all, I encourage you to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of thanks for all people, for rulers, and for everyone who has authority over us. Pray for these people so that we can have a quiet and peaceful life always lived in a godly and reverent way. This is good and pleases God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2: 1 – 3). What this means is that we should be praying for every leader of every organization we are members of including our churches. Why? We make our lives a whole lot better if we do. In the book of Acts, “They had the disciples in each church choose spiritual leaders, and with prayer and fasting they entrusted the leaders to the Lord in whom they believed” (Acts 14: 23). These people entrusted their leaders to the Lord Jesus and we must do the same. This would be our spiritual leaders, of course, but also our bosses, presidents, governors, the president of the PTA, the leader of the Bible Study and every other person you can think of who is in a leadership position. It is the Lord Jesus who gives us all the grace to do whatever we are called to do. He is what makes a great leader. And if you are involved in choosing a leader for your organization or for a government office the best thing you can do is to pray. Some people pray for their candidate to win but after the election is over, that is when the prayer is most needed. No matter who wins, they are not qualified to lead. Only Jesus is fully qualified so we need all of our leaders following him. We need all of our leaders blessed and ministered to by him. I don’t care who the person is, it is almost immaterial. The key is for that person be able to hear the leading of the Holy Spirit.

We like to elect Christians to political office but a Christian who does not hear and listen to the voice of God will be just as lost in the fog as a non-Christian. We need people in all of our organizations who can, and will, hearken to the voice of the Lord. If an unsaved person was elected in your jurisdiction, then you will want to begin to pray for that person’s soul. I don’t mean that you should begin praying condemnation prayers over them. I mean you should pray compassion prayers for them. Pray for them like they were your only child. We all need a touch from Jesus. They are no different from us in that respect. Even if the individual is a person of God, don’t you think they will be tried and tested? Of course they will and they need our support every day. By your blessing of them, you will be blessed.

You can speak ill of your leaders or you can speak well of them and pray for them. If you constantly run down your boss, your political leaders and your church leaders, what do you suppose you will get? Remember, words are power containers. You are going to end up unhappy and oppressed. Then who are you going to blame? You are going to get what you sow. Therefore, pray for everyone who in anyway provides leadership in your life. Pray and curse not. This is the way of wisdom.

And while you are at it, pray for me too. It is only when God speaks through my fingertips and keyboard that I have anything valid to say and to send to you, so pray for me and I promise I will pray for you.