Prayer Targets: Praying, Voting, Standing for our Biblical Values; Brunson; Gosnell; Voter Guides
October 17, 2018
For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)
Dear Praying Friends,
Rather than quote another, as National Prayer Director, I want to offer the following appeal:
True Christ followers (Jn 8:30-32) know that, like Esther, each of us has been called for "such a time as this." Jesus calls us "salt of the earth" and "light of the world." He has given us his strategy for preserving and seasoning everything good and filling the world with the shining light of the gospel. We start with our own families, communities, cities, states, and nation (Mt 28:18-21). Each of us who knows Christ is called to serve faithfully in our generation, just as David did, who was a "man after God's own heart" (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:36).
But too many believers and too many pastors are reluctant even to mention politics and elections. Some called to shepherd God's flock, for a variety of reasons, refuse to minister the word of God plainly enough to provide even general guidance to their flocks at election time, as if God had no opinion about how his children should choose their leaders. As a result, too many of the people who could be most motivated and capable of bringing God's light to our desperate nation are inadequately equipped to fulfil their most basic responsibilities as American citizens. Elections have enormous consequences. Only biblically informed believers can address many of the deeply spiritual issues that are now in the political realm with spiritual knowledge and wisdom. In his Farewell Address, George Washington warned:
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports... let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion... Reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
In Washington's day, religion meant biblical Christianity. He understood that "righteousness exalts a nation" and that blessings come to those nations whose leaders and people honor the Lord (Pr 14:34; Dt 28:1-14). He knew that nations that abandon God's moral laws would be destroyed (Dt 28:15-68). In so many words, he was saying that Christian salt and light are essential in the political process (i.e., Christians ought to "pray, vote, and stand" for their biblical values), and elect god-fearing men and women who will stand courageously and unflinchingly for truth.
While there is still a faithful, believing remnant, over the past 60 years America generally has all but departed from God and His word. The consequences in individual lives, families, churches, businesses, education, entertainment, media, and our governments at every level, have been devastating. The shocking confusion and division among Americans today cannot be resolved without the intervention of God. Ought not every believer in Jesus Christ pray, weigh in on these issues today, and do all they can to elect men and women who share their values and can lead? (Ex 18:21)
Before, during, and after the American Revolution, patriot pastors preached the word as it applies to the moral and political issues of their day (e.g., the Black Robed Regiment).
Now every pastor and Christian have a role as both salt and light to help America survive and be revived as a nation God will bless. Every election is a vote for righteousness or unrighteousness. There are individuals with evil motives that guide their vote, but for too many, just plain ignorance, group think, or partisan allegiance cause them to misspend their vote. The patriot pastors of the founding era preached biblical truths openly, plainly, and with depth so that the people understood what God required of them. When they had the privilege to cast their votes, they went with biblical understanding, conviction, and purpose. They voted for principle and for candidates most likely to promote righteousness in the land. They did their duty as Christians to make and keep America morally and politically free. They impacted the moral and spiritual direction of our country by supporting the candidates most likely to vote, represent, and lead our nation on an upward path that God could and would bless.
Every Election is a Test for God's People -- Will we pray, vote, and stand for our biblical values? David cried, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting" (Ps 139:23-24).
1) We ought to prepare ourselves and our fellow citizens for voting. God promises to bless us for faithfulness to Him. Thus, we ought to examine and humble ourselves, confess our sins, and seriously seek God before every election. We must strive to position ourselves with God so that He can use us to bless our nation. Then we can do our homework to make sure to vote for those most likely to lead us in righteousness and justice. Fasting and corporate prayer should be the norm.
2) We ought to pray specifically for "all that are in authority" (and those who seek authority).
3) We should stand for God's intentions for and limits on civil government. God has defined the limits of government: law enforcement, national security, and a system of laws and justice that is fair and righteous (e.g., Rom. 13:1-7), so that families can live "quiet and peaceable lives in godliness and honesty" (1 Tim 2:1-2). A behemoth bureaucracy will always be tyrannical.
4) We should ask whether or not a candidate is a champion for religious liberty. 1 Timothy 2:3-8 emphasizes God's desire for the gospel to be preached and for people to be saved and discipled in the truth. God is interested not only in government that enables us to enjoy quietness, peace, and holiness, he wants his people to preach the gospel, win people to Christ, and teach them biblical truth! But today religious liberty is under fire in American governments at every level. Religious liberty is the cornerstone of all liberty. Tyrants always seek to control the churches and faith of those they seek to enslave.
5) We must evaluate candidates as to where they stand on the value of human life. We must resist politicians who advocate for abortion, euthanasia, physician assisted suicide, and for adults and/or children to be prohibited from seeking psychological and spiritual help when they suffer from unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion. Such are combatants on the front lines of the culture of death. Historian David Barton has said that most candidates who are pro-life are going to share your values on most (if not all) of the issues you care about. Similarly, if they support abortion, you will likely clash with them on other moral issues that are dear to your heart (Ex 20:13; Dt 30:19).
6) We must support true advocates of the family who will boldly oppose every initiative across America that fosters sexual revolution, undermines God's laws pertaining to marriage, and undermines parents' authority to guide and educate their children according to their faith (Dt 6:4-7; Eph 6:4). Look at the groups that support the candidates. Which groups line up with your values?
A very real revolution is underway in our nation. It bears little resemblance to the American Revolution in which men fought for independence on moral principle and in a principled way, declaring independence only after every diplomatic effort and appeal had been made to Great Britain to rectify the wrongs and to effect conciliation. At its core, it was a war fueled by a sense of injustice and marked by prayer, not anger and hatred. What is developing in our nation now looks much more like the French Revolution in which anarchy, riots, violence, and spiritual darkness characterized the overthrow of the monarchy. Tens of thousands were executed over political disagreement and a dictator ultimately came to power. These modern American revolutionaries, like the foolish woman in Proverbs 14:1, tear down the house, lacking any wisdom to build it up. Christ warned and Abraham Lincoln echoed that "a house divided against itself cannot stand" (Mk 3:25). It is up to those of us who have spiritual insight to elect men and women, who calling on the Lord, can repair that which has fallen and rebuild our nation upon the righteous foundations our Forefathers laid 242 years ago.
- God, as we draw near Election Day, please guide all Americans, but especially your people, to vote for men and women who will lead our cities, counties, states, and nation in a way that is pleasing to you and that will bring blessing to Your people, our nation, and all the nations. May we be found worthy for you to raise up godly men and women who will honor you in public office, and to prevent those who will disregard you and your laws from gaining power in any level of government. For Lord, you are our judge, you are our lawgiver, you are our king; it is you who will save us! (Num 23:20; 1 Sam 2:30; Ps 75:6; Is 33:22; 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14)
Finally, please add these items to your prayer list: 1) May more and more believers sign The Pledge to Pray, Vote, and Stand for Biblical Values in the closing days before the midterm elections. May they encourage others to make and keep the pledge! 2) Praise God for Pastor Andrew Brunson's release and Tony Perkins' privileged role in accompanying and supporting Brunson as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Liberty and as an emissary of the president. Pray now for Pastor Brunson as he adjusts to his new liberty and shares his story with the world. 3) Continue to pray for the victims of Hurricane Michael; current reports are that 16 have died and the damage immeasurably devastating. FRC is facilitating gifts to Samaritan's Purse to help with relief efforts. 4) See Gosnell (the movie) yourself, then pray that thousands of theaters will feature and millions of Americans will see this powerful, true account that is changing minds and hearts about abortion. No wonder Planned Parenthood fought to stop it! 5) Continue to pray for FRC's Pastors Briefings: Oct. 29 in Dallas, Oct. 30 in Houston, Nov. 1 in Nashville (Culture Impact Team Training) and Nov. 2 in Memphis. 6) Follow and pray for the two "Values Buses" now touring America. Each makes several stops to conduct rallies at churches and public places to inform and encourage believers to participate in the elections. They distribute Voter Guides and other voter tools (access online Voter Guides HERE) to help folks vote their values. See the calendar and attend in person to pray onsite over the events near you -- if you can!
As always, thank you for praying.