THE CALL TO PRAYER

What do you do?  Like so many of us watching and listening to hear from our president, we’re left with more questions than answers with feelings of uncertainty. What do you do when you’re left with a feeling that something is painfully wrong with what you’ve observed? How do you handle the reality of ‘alternative news’ and the suspicion of ‘real news’ being offered to explain concerns, contentions, and complaints? After a live press conference, the myriad of questions, and the public discrediting of reporters and news organizations, who do you believe? What should be discarded or ignored?
 
This is where we are today! Something is terribly wrong! It has nothing to do with political ideology or partisan politics.
 
What do we do, those of us who are people of faith who desire the best for our country and its leaders? Assuredly, we want for ourselves and our leaders the best in policies that insure our safety, well-being, and pursuit all things good. This isn’t political! But, our observations clearly reveal that something is not functioning properly to give us feelings of security and stability.
 
I humbly submit to my faith community and beyond that we must be diligent and fervent in our cries unto the Lord. In our moments of prayer and meditation, we must seek the will of God for ourselves individually and for the larger community, including the nation. This is no time for partisan fighting, harsh critiques, hateful innuendo, or crassness. Indeed, this is a time for seeking God’s face.
 
Too many of us have long forsaken prayer as a viable tool of interaction and intervention in and among crucial happenings of the day. But, I believe that God is the same in welcoming our cries before Him for the state of affairs among men of the world. Our prayers relieve us of great tensions and stress created by the world’s clamor. Our prayers embolden us for the journey through challenging days of cynicism and gloom. Prayers refocus our minds to consider divine solutions to the great problems of our personal lives and the republic. And, prayer pours out before God our authentic selves to consider the purposes that He has for us in these key moments in time.
 
The great burden of leadership weighs heavy upon Mr. Trump! He is a human being now being inundated with weightier matters than he could have ever imagined. He is surrounded by people that may not have his or our best interests in mind, but rather seek to forward an agenda that is unhealthy for the nation and the world. He needs our prayers.
 
To all of the faithful, let us not join with those who cry foul at every word or critique every action, or espouse partisan hatred for the purpose of undermining the president. Those of us who preach need to be Nathan in David’s palace or Elijah in Ahab’s court. We must offer words of hope like a Samuel to Saul or Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. Where is the Emperor’s Paul or the Sanhedrin’s Gamaliel who may offer reason, common sense and decency? Who will serve in obscurity offering prayers for the perceived enemy and for those who stand in the gap on the front lines? What does the Lord hear from His people in such a time as this?
 
We must be passionate, persistent, and powerful in our challenges to status quo thinking before friend or foe to our president with the challenge to keep decent our resistance and honorable our efforts to offer what is right and good for this land and people. And, I believe that we must begin and be sustained through prayer for both the president and those leading the charge to make known our concerns and hopes.
 
Let us pray: “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6-9 ESV
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“WHAT SHALL I CRY?”

The season’s festivities have already begun for another Holy Day celebrating our Lord’s miraculous birth! He is Emmanuel, God with us; here to bring us into fellowship with the Father. Bless the day of His arrival to Bethlehem!

The season’s greetings and celebrations this year, more than ever, will be shrouded by a cloud thoughts and feelings of terror and fear. Our reality almost every day is some form of violent and tragic incidents inflicted upon innocent everyday people somewhere in the world. We’re all afraid that one day it may be our town, our neighborhood, or our family.

What are we to do in the light of all of these harsh realities and deep rooted feelings of fear? What are we to say in the face of the world’s cynicism, hopelessness, and fear?

Isaiah faced a lost nation with the same desperate inquiry: “A voice says, ‘Cry!’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’” (Isaiah 40:6 ESV)

The answer is clear and powerful for a generation long removed from Isaiah’s reality: “Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength; O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’ Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.” (Isaiah 40:9-10 ESV)

Listen to His promise to a people lost under pretentious religious formality, insensitive consideration of their own countrymen, and where wickedness abounded. It is a word fresh with life for a new millennial age of skepticism, unbelief, fear, and moral bankruptcy. “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to Him who has no might He increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31 ESV)

It is an old and familiar word to the church! Above all, it is relevant to where we stand in the midst of terrorist violence that is being imposed upon the entire world. We are all vulnerable in this global reality. As Christians, we are also blessed that our God is still on the throne and changes not. He is both aware of these latest happenings among us and He has us on His mind to care for us whether alive or facing death.

Choose Him today, as His promises still live with assurance and power for these days of uncertainty. Our strength is in the Lord!

MID-TERM ELECTIONS AND DIVINE APPOINTMENT

The American Electorate has made its choices in the 2014 Midterm Elections.  Many rejoice tonight in what are viewed as successful campaigns to get into office people and platforms considered most attractive to voters.  Others are sorrowing tonight at the notion that the opposition has prevailed and resulting change can be anticipated.  And, it doesn’t really matter which side you’re on!  Everyone will be affected by America’s choice and will have to endure  ‘big government,’ ‘fiscal irresponsibility,’  or ‘want their government back.’  Whatever the rhetoric, we will all have to wait!

Not only did voters make their choice in this election.  God made His choice in this election to raise to power the leadership in this land.  Those choices will begin serving out their terms in January as the President of the United States continues his second term.  (Romans 13:1-2)

And, quite honestly, God’s voice will resound most profoundly than the electorate or the familiar voices that have facilitated more polarizing than unifying of the nation.   One of our biggest challenges will be to overcome the use of the church’s pulpits to espouse or confirm ideologies, philosophies, agendas, policies so strongly that one could conclude that Jesus was more a politician than a preacher from Galilee.  God’s voice must be heard from the people who declare themselves His spokespersons in His church!

Ultimately, no person can serve without God’s blessing, an idea most often overlooked.  And it seems like there are more and more entering state legislative bodies, Congress, governorships, judgeships, etc with little understanding that they are accountable to not only an electorate of voters, but the One greater than the electorate.  There is a day of reckoning for all of those entrusted with leading and representing the interests of taxpayers and voters.

Assuredly, a few more days will reveal what was really won and what was really lost in this 2014 version of Midterm elections.  And in the end, everyone involved will receive their just reward!

We shall see!