STAND UP FOR YOUR CONVICTIONSThis is a different type of Prayer Focus Day as head towards the end of the designated 14 Days of Prayer, originally called by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for Religious Liberty. Since then, several major conservative Protestant organizations, including myself, have joined in as there is always a great time to pray and obey.
As we come to the final Five Days, for this specific period, we have to resolve to NEVER stop praying! This is the main takeaway from what we are doing. The Bible says to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess 5:17). This LITERALLY means (in the Greek) - LEAVE NO INTERVAL BETWEEN THE TIME YOU PRAY (for example NOW) AND THE NEXT TIME! It doesn't mean you pull over every five minutes on the Interstate Highway, kneel down and pray. The key is to be in constant and repentant fellowship with the One Who created you and sent His Son to be the Bridge back to Him, so we can have that uniquely close relationship with our Father.
If you and I wish to see our children and families and therefore our local communities and towns do better, we must never cease from praying. We should never stop because the enemies of God - the devil - will not stop until he destroys our peace, our love for the Savior and each other and our children and their futures. Christ was NOT kidding when He said in John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly".
Many Christians are now fearful since the US Supreme Court, in a stunning decision decided to legitimize a life-altering governmental decree which affects every single American. With or without knowing it, the decision has repercussions for Religious Liberty, Individual Freedom and personal choice. There is confusion in the Body of Christ about how to react to this and if we should really even want to pray God's blessings to the people who do this kind of thing.
Again - yes, we have to, because God commanded us to. But several questions and concerns have come up in the past couple of days, which are worth considering and taking to the Lord in prayer:
- When praying for a decision maker: whether it is a wrong-headed Judge or Politician, pray for his/her personal salvation first, their safety and their families' protection, joy and happiness.Trust me, my friends. This will put you in good standing with the only Judge Who matters - Jesus Christ!
- We are to pray that their policies and plans reflect the Will and intentions of God, not man. If a politician and the judge who okays it, decides they wish to tell a church "You can pray inside your four walls, but don't bring your religion outside and try to live like a Christian....and by the way, I, Mr. Politician, am a Christian too...so keep your opinion to yourself!" Well, in this case, you don't pray for any ungodly policy - which promotes abortion or teaching kids sex education or name your outrage - we DO NOT PRAY FOR THAT TO SUCCEED.
- In this event, while praying for government leaders, it is absolutely okay to put these people and any clearly anti-Bible policies firmly in the Hands of God and pray "God, oh my God, I can't handle this....I am losing my mind watching all the debate and outrageous lies or policies I see on Fox News, Father if You don't take this from me, I will become a basket case. I give this issue over to You. Lord, You alone are sovereign and the heart of the king is in Your Mighty Hands. From the days of Nimrod and others, man has assumed an opinion of himself higher than You.
In 6000 years, nothing has changed. So Father, I ask that You deal with this in Your Way, which I know is not MY way! Lord I know this policy or decree or mandate to provide pre-abortive pills is wrong and from darkened, cold hearts. Lord, You handle this in Your way. The courts and laws of man will never be pleasing in the Eyes of a Holy God, so now, oh God, I pray for Divine Intervention.
Father, none will escape Your accountability, including me, if I don't stop obsessing about this and go back to "praying without ceasing". Therefore, I am now submitting to You and Your plans for us as a family and the Body of Christ, in Jesus' Name, amen.
If you prayed this prayer, and really want to not let all of this evil and politics get to you - turn the TV off and go for a walk or workout in the gym, or go ride your bike...trust me, it makes a HUGE difference. It is also more therapeutic and enriching. I keep a running up to date podcast list of my favorite preachers, which you can get for free off iTunes or OnePlace. You don't have to listen to "fire and brimstone" speakers all the time. There are some great Bible teachers out there who will bless you, as they teach the world of God, so click on the ONE PLACE link.
Finally...and we are going to keep this running on this site, for long as it takes, I wish to briefly address a question, which is relevant to our time.
- Is it okay to "REBUKE" the devil? Yes! Here is what James, the half-brother of Jesus wrote in James 4:7 "Submit to God, RESIST the devil and he will flee from you!" RESIST in the original language is anthistémi or STAND YOUR GROUND, OR SET YOURSELF AGAINST, OR FORCEFULLY STAND UP FOR YOUR CONVICTIONS....need I continue!
I have personally rebuked the devil several times and most of it was while the scumbag has come after my family, or my soul when I am doing the Lord's work. He is not to be trifled with but he is a liar, cheat and a coward who flees at the Name of Jesus! I know this to be ABSOLUTELY TRUE!!! However you want to rebuke the devil and his demons, do it but ONLY do it if your soul is right with God! Do not go to trench warfare with the serpent of old armed with a super soaker! He will eat you up and spit you out if 1. you are not saved and 2. are not fully walking with the Lord! Trust me, I have seen and heard of many people "binding" and "rebuking" or "casting demons" into "hell" etc...only to have them not just get frustrated that things got worse, but they are more confused than ever!
Think on these things, over this weekend as the second half of this year begins. Then ask the Lord to search your heart and see if there is anything hidden or wicked or should not be there, and then ask Him to remove it, so that there be nothing hidden between you and Him. This way, you and I can be better men and women of prayer...powerful and righteous before Him. Amen.
(image by google)