A couple of weeks ago Mark Turman excellently addressed our dual citizenship as Christians and the importance of taking a stand on our knees. This week let’s elaborate more on the importance of prayer as we face the upcoming election.
How do we live for eternity and the present, representing our Lord as his ambassador on this foreign soil called Earth?
Justin the Martyr, one of the first defenders of the Christian faith, told the Roman emperor that Christians make the best citizens. C.S. Lewis believed that those who are heavenly minded do the most earthly good.
As we look to the future of our nation, Scripture teaches us how to do earthly good as citizens. Perhaps the following passages will help you as you seek to serve God’s Kingdom on earth.
Paul instructed the Romans:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:1–7).
Peter told his followers to do the same:
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:13-17).
And as Mark pointed out in his blog, Paul gave Timothy this direction for the Christians in Ephesus:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time (1 Timothy 2:1–6).
While we support and pray for our president and leaders, we serve a King. Here’s how:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:1–2).
The greatest service you and I can render for our nation is to join that army which marches on its knees. This is our most significant act of patriotism.
Rees Howells was a Welsh miner and great prayer warrior. During the dark days of WWII in England, he felt compelled by God to organize a “company” to pray with him for the nation. They prayed day and night from May 16–30, 1940, before the pending invasion of England by the Nazis.
On September 15, the Battle of the Air came to its climax, as the German air raids on London peaked and the British had no air reserves left. The Luftwaffa was free to take Britain, when they inexplicably turned and left for home. But their actions were not inexplicable: Rees Howells and his prayer partners had been on their knees, day in and day out for the week before. And their prayers won the day for their country.
The commander-in-chief of the British Fighter Command later said, “At the end of the battle one had the sort of feeling that there had been some special divine intervention to alter some sequence of events which would otherwise have occurred.”
He was right.
Oswald Chambers says it well:
Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work. We think of prayer as a common sense exercise of our higher powers in order to prepare us for God’s work. In the teaching of Jesus Christ prayer is the working of the miracle of the Redemption in me which produces the miracle of Redemption in others by the power of God. The way fruit remains is by prayer, but remember it is a prayer based on the agony of Redemption, not on my agony. Only a child gets prayer answered; a wise man does not.
Prayer is the battle; it is a matter of indifference where you are. Whichever way God engineers circumstances, the duty is to pray. Never allow the thought—“I am of no use where I am;” because you certainly can be of no use where you are not. Wherever God has dumped you down in circumstances pray….
There is nothing thrilling about a laboring man’s work, but it is the laboring man who makes the conceptions of the genius possible; and it is the laboring saint who makes the conceptions of his Master possible. You labor at prayer and results happen all the time from His standpoint. What an astonishment it will be to find, when the veil is lifted, the souls that have been reaped by you, simply because you had been in the habit of taking your orders from Jesus Christ” (My Utmost For His Highest, October 17).
Will you join the army of prayer warriors taking orders from Jesus, and make intercession for this nation we love?