Sunday, November 9, 2008

Prayer Isn’t Everything

[Preface: I have been open with my concerns about an Obama Presidency. I hope I have done this with respect for the man. I am concerned some may have read more into my comments than I intended. I will always speak against our culture of death, especially the use of abortion as a means of birth control. However, I do not want to ever contribute to an atmosphere of disrespect and animosity for persons. I am greatly troubled by the hateful personal comments I read on the web, especially by persons purporting to speak as Christians.]

We are all aware it is our duty to pray for our President, but praying for him is not enough. As followers of Christ we are commanded to honor and to love him (hopefully I can one day refer to “her”).

During the past sixteen years I have been troubled as our nation has become more and more polarized around our Presidents. In the midst of our culture wars we have blamed the current President (Clinton or Bush) for the decline of Western civilization or adored him as savior. Clinton was reviled by conservatives as though he was the antichrist. Bush has been disdained by the liberals (and not a few moderates) as if he was the devil himself.

As we move toward an Obama Presidency we have an opportunity to monitor our own spiritual wellbeing. Can we disagree with him on policy and still love and honor him? If it is our desire to please God, we don’t have a choice. We must hate the things God hates, love the things God loves, and obey His Word. We must love, honor and pray for our President. [By the way, for those who have despised Bush you have a couple of months to examine your hearts and pursue a more perfect way yourselves.]

Consider the Scriptures
Matthew 5:43-48 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (NRSV)

1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (NRSV)

1 Peter 2:13-17 13 For the Lord's sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, 14 or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. 15 For it is God's will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of the foolish. 16 As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. 17 Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

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