A Clarion Call To Prayer

Hello! Welcome. Lend me your ear for a moment. Now that I have your attention I want to issue a sincere call to all Christians. I ask that you please pass this clarion onto everyone you know who calls Jesus Lord. It is one week until the U. S. Presidential election and the politics of destruction are in full swing. Accusations and apparent lies are bombarding us from every corner. However, I am not writing this posting to further any specific political agenda, or to call for any specific moral or ethical crusade, though many come immediately to mind. Instead I am calling for the most important thing that I believe Christians can do over the next seven days. I believe we all need to do this to address what I see as a critical nexus point in all our futures.

Please understand that I cannot and do not claim to be a prophet in the popular sense of knowing what lies ahead. I emphatically do not make that claim. But, some have said over the years that I do have a prophetic gift in the traditional Christian sense of cutting through the clouds of pettifoggery to proclaim insight to God’s truth at critical moments.

Bear with me. I know how that sounds. First, to be fair, you need to know that I have been accused of having a Jeremiah complex. (I just love being put in psychological boxes.) I have also been told that my mere presence is a demand, including how I speak and write, that hearkens back to Old Testament absolutism. I take those charges seriously, so believe me when I say that one of the most important scriptures I try to keep before myself on a daily basis is 2 Timothy 2:24-25.

And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.

I never want to be arrogant or self-righteous. That said, let me get to the point at hand and that is this: what we need at this critical juncture is both God’s unfailing wisdom and to have that wisdom applied to the current moment of decision we all face. What we don’t need, as Christians or just regular folks, is to have anyone pontificating, least of all me. It is so easy to do, believe me.

Let me back up for a minute. As a member of the League of Reformed Bloggers, I strongly adhere to the premise that God is in absolute control. That said, sometimes His demands on our life are not obvious based on conventional wisdom, which like it or not we all tend to fall back on. As an aside, I believe that conventional wisdom is position specific. Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, liberals, and everyone else who doesn’t fit into a neat category all have their own conventional wisdom, which is often contradictory, even internally. So, my argument is that whatever God’s will is at the moment cannot be validated by conventional wisdom, only by biblical consistency in thought, word, and deed.

For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[Isaiah 29:14] 1 Cor. 1:19

Next to salvation, I see getting and applying wisdom as the primary concern of Scripture as applied to our lives. James and Proverbs are two excellent biblical sources for that position.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7 [The Hebrew words rendered fool in Proverbs, and often elsewhere in the Old Testament, denote one who is morally deficient.]

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright. He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair-every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Proverbs 2:1-10

So my call to all Christians near and far is to pray, to pray for wisdom about and over this Presidential election; to pray for wisdom for themselves and their family and friends and fellow Christians. Not just for them only, but for all those who vote or influence those who vote, including unbelievers as well.

I must emphasize that I do not want you to pray for a specific outcome, but like Jesus in the Garden of Eden, pray for wisdom and that God’s will, His good and perfect will, will be done. Pray purely and without guile or conceit, opening your hearts and minds to God and the instruction of the Holy Spirit, remembering James’ admonition in chapter 4:3

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

I take “pleasures” in this instance to include the uncontested desires of one’s heart, no matter how pure. Most use James to debunk only prayers for wrong things, but why such an obvious rebuke if that is the only application of his admonition? Remember, it is given to Christians. No matter how easy it is for most people to limit the context of James’s rebuke, to me the passage goes significantly further and balances all of our desires against God’s perfect wisdom. For me this is upheld in what James argues later in 4:14-17

…you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

I think that pretty much wraps up what I wanted to say. So to reiterate:

Pray intensely for God’s wisdom, not your own desires and then act on what He shows you to do. To repeat my call—pray, pray without ceasing for the next week, and then act accordingly. Having done that, then pray that God’s wisdom will inform the results and the hearts of all those who have to make sense of the course God has chosen for us.

Amen. And again I say, amen.

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