How Now Shall We Pray?
Much has been said, written and debated about last Friday’s Supreme Court decision: blurred lines about right and wrong, confusing ideas about how love wins, and foreboding realities about a court of nine whose decision mandates a country of millions. Fears abound regarding potential threats to religious freedom. Regardless of what comes next, you can do one thing: pray. That freedom can never be revoked. You can pray in a courthouse, the White House and your house. No one will hear you but God…and He’s the one who matters.
How now shall we pray?
- Pray for informed children. A 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study revealed that kids spend 7 1/2 hours a day “consuming media — watching TV, listening to music, surfing the Web, social networking, and playing video games.” Apple, Yahoo, Facebook, Youtube and Google promulgated much of the errant message regarding right and wrong in the recent gay marriage campaign. Pay attention to what your children are hearing, watching and reading…and pray.
- Pray for faithful marriages. Inattention to a biblical definition of marriage among heterosexual couples gave way to a widespread redefinition of marriage among everyone. When one lesbian couple was asked in a CNN interview what the rings meant on their fingers they responded, “Nothing. Nothing at all. It’s just a ring.” Sadly, their view of marriage is no different than many heterosexuals’ view of marriage.
- Pray for Gospel clarity. Paul asked believers in Ephesus to pray for him. “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel...” (Ephesians 6:19, NIV) The good news that Jesus died for sinners, whatever their sin, and rose from the dead is inherently powerful. The proclamation of the Gospel is the hope of our country.
- Pray for gracious truth-telling. The new intolerance suggests that disagreement equals discrimination, that principled thinking is prejudiced thinking. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ. (Ephesians 4:15 ESV) Grownups speak truth to one another. A sign of maturity is gracious truth-telling.
- Pray for a genuine turnaround. Though written to a people in different circumstances, God’s message in 2 Chronicles 7:14 still resonates today: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV)
Billy Graham said, “To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees.”
It’s time to get on our knees.