True Power

True Power

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day: reminder to pray for leaders


The following post is an excerpt from my yet unpublished companion piece to "The Politics of Prayer." It is a daily devotional where you can actually write down leaders from various positions in your church, community, state, and nation to pray for daily. I am waiting to see how many people purchase the book "
The Politics of Prayer" before releasing the daily devotional booklet.
This is SECTION ONE entitled PRAY:

There is not a tried and true way to pray. Many suggestions have been given as to how a person should pray, but the technique will vary from person to person. The “how” to pray is not as important as the “you should” pray. I found a suggested pattern of prayer that has been helpful to me that you may want to use as a guide in helping you clear your mind and focus on prayer.

Ten simple rules on how to pray by Deane Edwards, President of The Hymn Society of America (published in 1958):
1. Pray where you are. God is present everywhere and ready to listen.
2. Pray when possible in a quiet spot where you can be alone. It is well to fix your mind deliberately on God, apart from confusing distractions.
3. Pray to God simply and naturally, as a friend. Tell him what is on your mind. Get help from the prayers of others.
4. Pray remembering the good things God has done for you. Reckon up your blessings from time to time and give thanks for them.
5. Pray for God’s forgiveness for the unworthy things that you may have done. He is near to a humble and contrite heart.
6. Pray for the things that you need, especially those that will make your life finer and more Christlike.
7. Pray for others, remembering the situations they confront and the help they need.
8. Pray for the world and its need, asking God to bring better things and offering your help to them.
9. Pray above everything else that God’s will may be done in you and in the world. His purposes are deeper and wiser than anything we can imagine.
10. Pray, and then start answering your prayer.

I love reading quotes about prayer and I found a few to share with you:

“God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it.”
John Wesley

“Most men pray for power, the strength to do things. Few people pray for love, the quality to be someone.”
Robert Foster

“The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.”
F.B. Meyer

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”
Oswald Chambers

“Seven days without prayer makes one weak.”
Allen Varlett

“Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.”
D.L. Moody

“Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Our prayers must mean something to us if they are to mean anything to God.”
Maltbie D. Babcock

“To pray in Jesus’ name means to pray in his spirit, in his compassion, in his love, in his outrage, in his concern. In other words, it means to pray a prayer that Jesus himself might pray.”
Kenneth L. Wilson

Studying men of the Bible in which God favored reminds us of our own stregnths and weaknesses along with God's mercy, grace, and love for us. Let's take a look at a man whom God loved:

King David

“And David realized that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel” (II Samuel 5:12).

When David took the reigns of Judah and later became king of all of Israel, the territory he ruled over was not a kingdom of peace, it was fractured. David would turn the divided kingdom into a strong united power. He took independent tribes and joined them into a centralized government. The territory David reigned over would go from a people without a centralized place of worship to having Jerusalem as their place of worship. This growth and change did not come without struggles.

David was “a man after God’s own heart” (I Samuel 13:14). He governed God’s people by God’s principles. Even though he possessed strong leadership abilities and a willingness to obey God, he was still human. He struggled with lust, adultery, and even murder. He had problems with a son trying to entice an entire nation into rebellion against him, the king.

When David repented to God for his sins, God showed him forgiveness and his fellowship and peace with God was restored. Though God forgave David, he had to live through the consequences his sins had set in motion (II Samuel 12-20), such as the death of his child with the woman he committed adultery with, Bathsheba.
We see David as an ideal leader of an imperfect kingdom. Then we see an ideal kingdom and an imperfect leader.

REFLECTION
I encourage you to incorporate prayer for your national leaders into your daily prayers. Galatians 5:22-23 gives you qualities every person should long to have as part of their character and are the by-products of living for God. These qualities are called the fruit of the Spirit and include: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Paul says there is no law against the gifts of the Spirit. We should prayerfully ask God to help our leaders to have these qualities when we pray.

Make your own prayer list of local and national leaders to pray for.

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