Topic: Positive prayers and posi
I write this entry in response to e-mails I have been receiving lately from various Republican, conservative and "Christian" organizations. These e-mails have been attempting to sabotage President-elect Obama's program now, even before he takes office, essentilly cursing him before he has a chance to do anything.
As I stated in earlier posts, I am a Christian (though I believe Mr. Obama is, too) and have been a Republican since my very first vote. Nevertheless, I believe the recent American tradition of imediately cursing the winner if he or she is not one of "us" is totally inappropriate and is a source of real problems.
God never tells us to curse those in power if they don't tow "our" party line.
Instead, he tells us to pray FOR them, ALL of them. We are to be thankful for ALL in authority, and to pray for God's positive work in their personal lives and official decisions. I Timothy 2:1-3. I've applied this to Mr. Obama in an earlier posting, but I believe the point bears repetition in light of the volume of poisonous e-mail I have been receiving about him.
Moreover, I believe we must apply the point to ALL those in authority, and perhaps particularly those "we" don't like.
Paul said to give thanks for all in authority--even when the Emperor was Nero. If we look hard enough, there is SOMETHING for which we can give thanks about any official. It is precisely these matters for which we can be thankful for which we SHOULD be looking, rather than the evil things or the things that anger us. Our focus should always be on the things that are right, pure, lovely and noble, even about our enemies! Philippians 4:8.
Paul said to intercede for all those in authority. We sould be lifting them up personally, seeking God's protection and blessing on them. We should likewise be lifting up their families--which are under attack simply because of their office. For those who profess a knowledge of God, through Christ jesus, we should be praying that God would increase their love and their knowledge of Him. For those who do not profess--or even oppose--Christ, we should be praying that God would bring them to faith in himself. As I wrote in my earlier piece about praying for Mr. Obama, God treats even those in high office first as individuals, then as officeholders. We should pray for them first as individuals, for the growth of their relationship with God, starting from wherever it is today. And we should recognize that God usually draws us closer to Him by showing his goodness, rather than by showing harsh judgment. It is the kindness of God that leads us to salvation. Romans 2:4.
Paul also said to offer petitions and prayers for those in authority. We should pray FOR the SUCCESS of their policies. Of course, we can and should pray that God would give them wisdom in their official decisions. but we should be prepared for those decisions not always to be exactly what our wisdom, our our party line, says they should be. God doesn't always work in the ways we expect. God doesn't always work even in ways that are comprehensible to us, and His plans operate on an eternal time line we can't even see. His plan to solve the problems we see may not "fix" them tomorrow.
All of this is to be applied to all those in authority.
Thus, I now declare that I personally recognize that this applies to the justices of the Kansas Supreme Court. I wrote in an earlier posting that I planned to vote against the two of them who were on the ballot in the retention election four weeks ago. But now that they have been reatined, it is my duty to support them, to give thanks for them, and to pray for them. This does not imply anything about my vote in the next retention election. But while they are in office, I must support them.