â€œIf I shut up the sky so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now my eyes shall be open, and my ears attentive, to the prayer that is made in this place.â€ Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 Chronicles 7:13-15 (WEB)
There are many prayer meetings going on today, the eighth anniversary of 9/11 tragedies of 2001. Christians are coming together to pray for our country and leaders. I do a happy dance in my office to think of so many praying. However, websites tell me that there are some un-Godly prayers that will be offered.
Many are encouraging groups to pray for the downfall of the current presidential administration. Even the death of President Obama. Oh, my brothers and sisters, grab on to some Holy Fear and examine your hearts! Dr. Allan Bevere said in his recent blog â€œI am sorry, the political platform of the DNC and the RNC are not the equivalents to the Sermon on the Mount, and if you think they are even close, you need to be introduced anew to the biblical narrative.â€
To pray for someone is to lift them before God. It is to ask God to come into their lives. Come closer. To bless someone with all that God is. Does the Bible reflect prayers where someone asks God to curse another? Yes. There are numerous places in the Old Testament where enemies of Israel are cursed by those crying out to God from their oppression and exile. What did Jesus say?
â€œYou have heard that it was said, â€˜You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Donâ€™t even the tax collectors do the same? If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Donâ€™t even the tax collectors [and politicians!] do the same? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.â€ Matthew 5:43-48 (WEB, my addition)
Let us pray today for our nation and our leaders. Let us pray with renewed fervor for Godâ€™s wisdom which He said He would give freely if we ask. Let us pray for Godâ€™s presence in meetings that it be His voice that is heard by the respect and humility that pervades all who are present. May individuals hear the call of God in their lives causing them to lay down political agendas and take up instead the cross they have been asked to carry.
â€œMay the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to You this day, O Lordâ€ [paraphrasing of Psalm 19:14)