Yesterday on Facebook I shared that regardless of the outcome that I was committed to praying for our newly elected president. This morning, with my family huddled around me, I lifted up Donald Trump in prayer.
If you didn’t stay up into the wee hours of the morning, chances are you were a bit surprised, shocked, perplexed, bewildered, saddened, or exuberant at the news that America had elected as it’s 45th President, Donald Trump.
Truth be told I wasn’t a fan of Trump. I didn’t even vote for him.
Truth be told I wasn’t a fan of Hillary. I didn’t even vote for her.
I voted my conscience. I committed it to the LORD. I trusted Him. I still trust Him.
I don’t rejoice this morning in the election of Donald Trump. But I wouldn’t have rejoiced in the election Hillary Clinton either. I’m not satisfied. Not because we didn’t elect the president I hoped, or the one I voted for in the primary. I’m not satisfied because I’m longing for a King and a Kingdom to whom I belong but don’t yet experience in fullness. That longing makes me restless. It makes me uncomfortable in the constrains of political party affiliation. Kingdom restlessness. I long for that city whose builder and maker is God. I long to see that city come down. I pray Thy Kingdom come. But I don’t just pray. I participate but fall far short, of living Kingdom priorities in the earth as it is in heaven. John the Revelator tells me I’m a king and a priest. But I’m a broken one at best. As an active citizen of the Heavenly Kingdom I don’t find much comfort here. I don’t find solace in the systems of this world. In the systems of the nation. America isn’t the Church. America isn’t the Kingdom. I often feel out of place. I’m not the only one. Every Kingdom citizen feels like a refugee. At least we should. We can’t get too comfortable here. Comfort in this world’s system causes us to stop longing for the Kingdom. We can’t stop longing.
Often I fear that many Christians in America have stopped longing. We still long for the blessings of the Kingdom, but we’ve stopped longing for the Kingdom. We want all the blessings without submission to the King. We place American Rights above Kingdom Priorities. But we are Kingdom people first.
Peter reminds us that judgement begins with the house of God. A time of purifying. A time of shaking the things we cling to that must be released for the church to be a spotless bride. We belong to Kingdom that cannot be shaken. But every thing that can be shaken will be shaken. And we must see the shaking out as mercy even in the judgement.
So I pray.
I pray first for the Church. I pray that we wouldn’t allow ourselves to become enslaved to a political party. I pray we wouldn’t see ourselves as Americans before we see ourselves as Kingdom citizens. I pray that we wouldn’t give up Kingdom principles for political agendas and power. I pray that we wouldn’t be a divided church. But that we would be a unified Church, neither male nor female, slave nor free, not divided by color, or politics, but one as the Father and the Son are one. I pray that we would be known by our love – love for one another and love for the lost. I pray that a great Spiritual Awakening would occur in the Church and pour out into the streets. I pray that laborers would go out into the harvest. I pray that the church would do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. I pray that we wouldn’t allow fear to determine how we live. I pray we would resist evil and stand for righteousness. I pray that Jesus would be exalted. For anything less will leave the church powerless and marginalized, unable to be a voice crying in the wilderness. I pray that the church would let the mind that was in Christ Jesus be our mind. His perspective our perspective. His agenda our agenda. I pray that the church would lead from a posture of humility not a posture of power. It’s in humility that we have authority. It’s in the authoritative humility of Christ that the sick touched his garments, that the demonized were delivered, that the hungry were fed, that the poor were set free, that the captive was loosed, that the sinner was forgiven, that the Kingdom was proclaimed. I pray for the church.
I pray for America.
I seek the welfare of the nation as an exiled Israel sought the welfare of the city. That God’s people would live peaceable, godly lives in the nation in which we live. I pray that a Spiritual Awakening, an Awakening that only comes through prayer and faithful gospel proclamation, would bring in a harvest of souls. I pray that America would be a land of missionaries, taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. I pray that a new culture of Life would take root. From the unborn baby to the criminal. From the black youth to the immigrant. From the police officer to the social worker. From the middle-class worker addicted to prescription drugs to the factory worker who feels abandoned and doesn’t know how to keep going. I pray a culture of Life would be resurrected in America. I pray that righteousness would be exalted in our nation. That America would come to its senses on issues of moral consequence. I pray that the Church would lead the way in truth and love. I pray that America would be healed. I pray for racial healing. I pray for those affected by gentrification. I pray for the unemployed and under-employed. I pray for the rich and I pray for the poor. I pray that America would live up to her greatest potential. I pray for America.
I pray for President-Elect Donald Trump.
Understanding that governments are ordained by You and that all nations are ultimately under Your rule, I pray that Donald Trump would be a faithful witness and walk in disciplined obedience to Your Word. I pray that he would humble himself and seek the face of God. I pray He would lead from a posture of humility. I pray that he would lead with wisdom that only comes from the hand of the Almighty. I pray that he would see that all lives are image-bearers of our Creator. I pray that he would surround himself with godly counsel and faithful witnesses of the gospel. I pray that he would lead the nation to repentance from a posture of repentance. I pray that the words of his mouth and the mediation of his heart would be acceptable and pleasing to You, oh God. I pray that he would take steps to bring racial healing to our nation. I pray that he would fulfill his promise to be a pro-life president. I pray that the culture that he has benefited from in the past, a culture that devalues and degrades women, would be transformed as he is transformed by the renewing of his mind. I pray for his security. I pray that his policies would be just and equitable. I pray for Donald Trump.
I pray that the Spirit of God would blow from the Church House through the White House. From the Appalachian Mountains to the Midwestern Plains. From the Pacific Coast to the Florida Keys. From New England to the Puget Sound. Let Your Spirit blow through the trees and rustle the leaves of our hearts, removing any dead branches and making room for fresh growth. And may Your Spirit stir the heart of our President, our Nation, Your Church and me.
I also pray for myself. I pray that I would be convicted when I criticize before I’m consecrated. I pray that I would be humble as I speak to issues of Kingdom importance. I pray that I would represent the King and the Kingdom well. I pray I wouldn’t vilify or demonize those with whom I disagree but would disagree with civility and grace. I pray that I would live out the gospel that I say I believe. I pray for myself.
In Jesus Name.
I seek the King. I pray for the President.
An understanding of 1 Cor 14 that I think makes a lot of sense…
“Firstly, we should remind ourselves that spiritual gifts are given to the ‘the body of Christ’ for the building up of the church (12:12-20). Speaking in tongues is a God-ward and therefore prayer-like activity for the building up only of the individual since it is unintelligible to others (14:2), whereas the interpretation of a tongue is, like prophecy, for the building up of the church (14:4-19). There are then two assumptions behind this passage, namely that spiritual gifts will operate in church gatherings, and unbelievers will be present in at least some of these meetings…
So far so good, but how should this be applied? What kind of prophecy and tongues is Paul referring to? Is he referring to what we call ‘singing in the Spirit’ or something else? Furthermore, some seem to say something that Paul does not say in restricting these gifts to believers meetings alone…”
Please check it out. I think he makes some good points about what tongues being a sign for unbelievers means. It’s something that many people try to make sense of but really don’t. He does.
Again, let me encourage you to let the Spirit help you pray. You don’t need the “Gift of Tongues” to pray in the Spirit. The “Gift of Tongues” is for the church and requires an interpretation for the church to be edified. Praying in the Spirit is for personal edification. It builds up the person praying. Doesn’t require an interpretation. And Paul wishes everyone would do it. Let the Spirit help you pray.
This week I’m going to be posting some articles and resources that I hope encourage you to be open to letting the Spirit help you pray. Paul says in Romans 8 that “the Spirit helps us pray”. He prays with us. We pray with Him.
In my sermon yesterday I quoted from two New York Times articles on speaking in tongues. Portions of the articles are shared below with links to the original posts.
Colossians 1:28 Him (Jesus) we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
My wife posted this on her Facebook and I thought I’d share. It’s less about swimsuits and more about how Christian’s should think through what we wear. The research on men’s brains is worth thinking through.
And as a dad, I don’t want any boy losing his mind over my daughter. And I don’t want my son losing his mind over some girl. They can lose there minds when they are married.
Also, think through this about your own attire. Does what you wear illicit a dead brain in others? Seriously. I know that you can’t control every thought that a man thinks, but you can make him think real hard to imagine what you look like under your clothes. And most men don’t want to have to think that hard.
I’m not saying don’t dress pretty or attractively, I’m saying save some things for your husband.
Men, don’t lust.
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. -Jesus
Women, don’t entice men to lust.
Likewise, women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control… -Paul
Two completely different positions on God & Homosexuality. It all boils down to who is your highest authority, scripture or culture?
One man argues for scripture. The other argues for the world. One is good at answering honestly. One is good at dodging the question. The final exchange really gets to the heart of the matter. Well said, indeed.