June 3, 2020

A Time To Pray

Barack Hussein Obama has won reelection as president of the United States of America. No matter what comes our way, Obama is the one the majority of Americans said they want to lead us.

Whether this makes you happy, sad, mad, or simply makes you reach for the TV remote to see what is on Sportscenter, the fact is Barack Obama is going to continue in his role as our nation’s leader.

We, too, (at least those of us who live in the United States) have a role to play. We are free to defend him or criticize him. But one thing we are commanded to do is to pray for him. Let us pray with humility, kindness and love for the leader of our nation that we may continue to experience the freedom we have to worship our God as we do.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.  This is good and pleases God our Savior,  who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. (I Timothy 2:1-4, NLT)

Comments

  1. That’s a wonderful selection from Timothy’s letter, Jeff. Peace to all of us!

  2. Amen, Jeff. Thank you for this.

  3. Marcus Johnson says

    While we pray for our earthly leaders, can we also finally acknowledge that God is King, and that His will will be done on the earth, regardless of who is in the White House? I only ask that because it seems that a significant sector of self-professed Christ-followers think that God actually relies on our weak political institutions to accomplish anything. Give Obama his four years, and defer to his leadership as president; I serve an awesome God, and he will reign forever.

  4. Even Sports Center??? Turn on ESPN this morning. No place to hide there

  5. AMEN! Marcus.

  6. I awoke this morning with a variety of stuff filling my mind. Then I came to the kitchen to make coffee early and out on the counter, some in my family had placed a Bible opened to Psalm 37. My heart was so encouraged and in light of 1 Timothy 2:1-4, I am reminded that I am not God but need to lean in hard to His Truth – His Word and to be faithful. Blessed are the poor in Spirit. Thank you

  7. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Now all the hangovers, Godly Denunciations, End Time Prophecy Fulfillments, and 2016 Campaign all begin in high gear.

    The GOP is having the same reaction to defeat as the Dems had in 2000 — Increase Purity of Ideology, Purity of Ideology, PURITY OF IDEOLOGY. (Kind of Communist, actually.)

    And we’re sure to see a Libertarian press release about how a Libertarian was elected assistant dogcatcher in Possum Stew, Appalachia, The First Of The Great Libertarian Wave Sweeping America.

    And Fred Phelps will probably keel over from a stroke. Along with a lot of other Christian Culture Warriors.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Oh, yeah. And the Prophecy Fulfillments of “God’s Punishment for America’s Sins”. (I’m not looking forward to talking to my sister-in-law for the next few weeks; I had to break contact with my old college roomie after the 1996 elections kicked him into full Hal Lindsay mode.)

    • > The GOP is having the same reaction to defeat as the Dems had in 2000

      Eh? Double Eh?

      The *Democrats* increased in ideological purity? Eh? What party are you talking about?

      The Democratic party is like a rock-salt blast of ideological purity, little bits flying off in every direction.

      As someone who votes for Democrats, and is a Socialist, I don’t see hide nor hair of ideological purity.

      The GOP has the Tea-Party [or is had by? not sure], they at least take a clear position. For that I admire them. I suppose ‘the Left’ (such as it actually exists in the USA) has the weasily we-do-not-take-a-position-out-of-principle occupy people (who are the definition of both ideological impurity and uselessness).

      On the other hand I’m quite comfortable with ideological impurity, as reality is a mess place.

      • Adam, as an American you probably meant Huh? Double Huh?

        Eh? Double Eh? is trademarked as a Canadian expression. 😛

      • True enough. I’m a Kennedy Democrat, so a little to the right of you. Nevertheless, I don’t mind the Socialists nor the Blue Dogs as long as they are electable in their district. Vive la différence.

    • SBCVoices is showing stress signs from the victory of Obama. I think the ‘reaction’ indicates that the far-right media let conservative white Christians down by assuring them of a Romney victory (some pundits predicted Romney would come in with over 300 electoral votes) . . .

      I think, in time, maybe wiser folks among conservative Christian people will start to re-evaluate the sources that they depend upon for information about candidates. If that happens, maybe the current ‘shock’ they are experiencing, which is painful for them, might bring some reality into their worldview that is not there thanks to devotion to certain pundits who keep them isolated from the mainstream media.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        “Some pundits”? Morning drive-time radio was talking about Rush Limbaugh predicting a Romney Landslide like Nixon in 1972. A sentiment probably echoed from many-many pulpits.

        …maybe the current ‘shock’ they are experiencing, which is painful for them, might bring some reality into their worldview…

        No it won’t. Now we invoke Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory. The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

        Oh, does this mean the Mormons go back to being a CULT CULT CULT?

      • I think it actually hurt them this time. People who are afraid their candidate is losing will be more likely (in most cases) to donate or volunteer a little more. People who are assuming their candidate is winning may just decide to tune out.

      • “I think, in time, maybe wiser folks among conservative Christian people will start to re-evaluate the sources that they depend upon for information about candidates.”

        I had many Facebook friends parroting the Romney landslide predictions. It didn’t seem like a great strategy to motivate an agressive turn-out, considering how close the polls were, with Obama beginning to resurge

      • @Christiane: I pray you’re right… I believe the Kingdom would be noticeably and positively impacted if american christians would stop chasing politics… I want to believe you, but I wait until I see it. The cultural warriors don’t have a preceding reputation of humble self-examination, reality-embracing, or Christ-like surrender – but maybe this time will be different.

  8. This country has some incredible issues facing it. From the debt, sequestation, rebuilding our infrastructure, and the debt ceiling in February….we have a lot. Christians as I see it can be part of the solution or part of the problem. Learning to build bridges and show love and support can go a long way.

    Time will tell…

  9. And make your political statement this Sunday; take the Eucharist.

  10. If I may, in addition to praying for him (and the rest of our leaders), we are also commanded by God to submit to them (Rom. 13:1), pay taxes to them (Rom. 13:6-7), and honor them (1 Peter 2:17). Now, I can pray for leaders I disrespect (that they turn into the kind of leaders I think they ought to be), submit to them grudgingly, and pay taxes because it’s the law. But is it even possible to honor someone disrespectfully? We can talk about respecting the office without respecting the person (like loving the sinner while hating the sin), but Scripture doesn’t command us to honor the position but the person in that position.

    Let us never forget one point of nonnegotiable theology: regardless of what the ballots say, it is God and God alone who elected our president.

  11. I wonder how many christians are waking up this morning with any regrets? This campaign season and all the attacks flying with high emotions brought out the ugly. It may feel like a hangover with thoughts like, “what did I say? what did I do?” It got nasty out there. Love was a dirty 4-letter word, and charity was an obscene idea.
    This sounds judgmental, I realize, even though that is not at all my intent. I have observed from a distance, and have felt firsthand the condemning tones from those who should know better, in my opinion. Is there anyone here who knows where I’m coming from this morning? Thoughts?
    I’ll start….I got into more than one debate with heated tones that was not really in line with the way I live my life. It felt like an outer body experience on one occasion….the anger. I have repented and apologized and have reaped what I have sown in dealing with some bad karma (I know) . I don’t want to go there ever again, and I won’t give so much of my emotions to any political ideals, God willing. There is a way to effect change in a positive way without doing harm to fellow humans.
    The greatest of these is love….

    • Good reminder, Debra.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I wonder how many christians are waking up this morning with any regrets?

      This one’s waking up with some relief — no more Political Ads jamming my mailbox, no more Political Ads jamming every break on drive-time radio, no more Political robocalls jamming my answering machine, no more getting followed into the toilet to get lectured about Politics Politics Politics. (At least for a week or so before the 2016 Presidential Campaign begins…)

      It’s only SOME relief because my state voted itself the biggest tax hike in its history (Unionized Government Workers exempt, of course). If it wasn’t for my job (and its health insurance) sticking me here, I’d split for some state with less corruption and lower taxes — like Massachusetts or Pennsylvania.

  12. Psalm 2 (New International Version)
    Page Options

    Psalm 2

    1 Why do the nations conspire
    and the peoples plot in vain?
    2 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
    3 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

    4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
    5 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
    6 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

    7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

    He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
    8 Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
    9 You will break them with a rod of iron;
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

    10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
    11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
    12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
    for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

    Nothing new under the sun.

  13. David Cornwell says

    Thanks Jeff. Good words.

  14. Good word. With those sorts of prayers we help our own soul along with lifting up the person we are praying for.

  15. I posted on Facebook last night that if anyone told me that “God is in control”, they were going to get bitten. I detest that phrase because, when I expressed my fears about the 2008 election, I was greeted with a chorus of “God is in control” that sounded like a spiritual brush-off to me. My cynical response to a lot of “Christianese” these days is, “Yeah, that sounds all well and good, but how is that going to help me pay the bills?”

    I have a son with autism and I’m deathly afraid of what will happen to him when my husband and I are no longer around to care for him. I don’t trust the government safety net to be there for him (no matter how much we tax “the rich, the resources are not going to be there for everyone to have what they need, let alone what they want) and our private resources are very limited. Our cheesy Christianity isn’t that much help for my own very real concerns.

    • Romans 3:3-4

    • Marcus Johnson says

      Well, I’m going to tell you “God is in control,” and if I get bitten, so be it. It is not a brush-off or a flimsy placation; if you are a true Christ-follower, that statement is our sustenance. If you are not, if you sing “Our God is an awesome God” with a question mark instead of a exclamation point, if you think that God’s will could ever possibly be hindered by any human institution, then your first prayer needs to be, “God, increase my faith.”

      I say this, knowing full well the concerns that caused many people to vote for Romney. However, if your private resources are limited, and you don’t trust the government, then your options might be a little limited. It might be a better idea to get connected with advocacy groups for parents of children with autism and see how they are coping.

      • I AM connected with an advocacy group, and from what I read, most parents of children with autism aren’t coping all that well. In fact, I’m one of the fortunate ones that does have private insurance, although it only covers my son’s speech therapy up to a certain extent. There are many, many, many who do NOT have private insurance and HAVE TO rely on programs such as Medicaid. Some of those parents (of whom I am one) have to reapply for Medicaid yearly, and if they can’t prove that their child meets certain criteria, they will no longer receive it.

        I’ve been in school for the last six years for court reporting to try and increase our private resources. However, it’s taking longer than I expected, I’ve have accumulated a large amount of student loan debt, and the money that could have helped my son is going to pay back loans. I am in court reporting school and I can only progress through school at the rate I pass certain speed tests, and passing grades are 95%. CR school is the only school where you can get a 94% on a test and still flunk it. Certification speed in my state is 225 WPM. I am at 120.

        I”m afraid that “God is in control” comes off to me like “Go, I wish you well, keep warm and well fed.” People like us have real problems that need real solutions, and Christian cliches do not help us unless they are backed by some sort of action.

        And the reason I don’t trust the government? I have 16 trillion of them–the amount of debt that we owe to various creditors. That debt will come due someday. We cannot keep running our government on debt. And even with all the reassurances that entitlement programs will not be cut, there is going to come a day when entitlements are going to be affected.

      • And last I heard, manna was not raining down from heaven, nor were ravens supplying bread and meat. People, if they are able, do have to work for a living in order to earn money to buy food.

      • Marcus Johnson says

        Well, when I say “God is in control,” I don’t mean that you have to stop working, or providing for your child, or that I don’t have to contribute to programs that help people in need. On behalf of Christ-followers everywhere, I am sincerely sorry that people have used that term as a pathetic attempt to make you feel better. The apostle James would rip those folks apart.

        “God is in control” doesn’t absolve me of my responsibility to you. However, it acknowledges His work in my life. I’m not looking for manna from heaven, or for a magic finger to heal me from disease. It does mean that God is not dependent on the “right” president to accomplish His will. That would make him a very small God, and I have no intentions of getting up early on Sunday mornings to worship a fake God.

        That being said, I am wondering about how you perceive God working in your life. Do you believe that He is a real force in your life, or has your experience of raising a child with special needs caused you to question your faith? That question is not intended to be perjorative in any means, but if the circumstances of an presidential election cause you to question your faith, then I’m wondering where that faith is actually placed.

  16. Bill Metzger says

    SportsCenter is of great comfort to me because I am a BEARS’ fan! “The Kingdom ours remaineth”!

  17. Dear Tina…..my sister has an autistic child who is 55 years old and in a group home where she has lived many years (various homes). Sister is 78, and depressed and worried about leaving her daughter as she approaches even bening older. So I know a little bit how you feel. I have tried to suggest various things to help.. I worked for Easter Seal and special needs groups for many years (am now 80), but my sister cant seem to leave the old things (ways) of treating autism. There are so many new and great things todlaly, like IPads, e.g. I know this sound simplistic. I have urged her to get someone to write up her daughters story (she has an enormous file), with the most salient facts. No one is going to read a huge file, but she just seems set in stone. Anyone who raises an autistic child has God’s blessing and love. Let’s pray for each other.