Prayer is a good and necessary practice. But after
we fall on our face, let’s be careful not to cover our ears, shut our eyes, and
bind our feet. We might just hear God’s voice say, “Rise up! Get up and vote!
Get your mother to vote! Get your pastor to vote and to tell the congregation
to vote! Vote in terms of what the Bible says about these issues. Vote as a son
of Issachar would vote: ‘Men who understood the times with knowledge of what
Israel should do’” (1 Chron. 12:32). This means being an informed voter.
For decades, Christians have been reluctant to get
involved in politics. These Christians either don’t vote or when they do vote
they do so in terms of what government can do for them. The government is seen
as their earthly savior. They are more concerned about where their next flu
shot is coming from rather than the appointment of judges who with one vote can
turn the Constitution on its head.
many more Christians who had given up on politics after the election of Ronald
Reagan didn’t bring in the millennium. And when Bill Clinton got elected twice,
hopelessness set in. George W. Bush was a big disappointment. Barack Obama was
work, and for what? Christians who are experiencing political remorse are
suffering from a case of faulty theology. Life is hard … There’s evil in the
world … We must be faithful … We must be diligent to overturn evil with good.
Here we are
in 2020 about to re-elect Pres. Trump or elect Joe Biden who will empower a
government that will bring devastation to the United States that could set our
nation back decades from which we may not recover.
one of my articles about the seriousness of this election, I received this
I am with
your reasoning but are we focusing more on voting than praying? We know
that God will decide about coming peace or riots or hanging chads or voter
fraud. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,
that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it
is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently
that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on
the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its
fruit” (James 5:16–18).
necessary. We can’t pray our way out of something that requires action on our
part. A student can’t pray to do well on a test if he or she didn’t study for
it. Praying is not going to help if you plan to do stupid stuff.
Prayer and repentance are not to be dismissed. They
are the first steps in a longer process. Before the events in Elijah’s day,
Joshua went through an experience that resulted in a military defeat when he
expected a victory. Israel won its first encounter with Jericho without a casualty.
Why should the battle with Ai be any different? The spies thought Ai was weak
enough that only “two or three thousand men need go up” (Josh. 7:3). Thirty-six Israelites were killed,
and the rest were pursued and assaulted by the men of Ai with the result that
“the hearts of the people melted and became as water” (7:5).
Myths, Lies, and
Have you ever heard fellow-Christians say, "We can't be
inolved in politics because Jesus never got involved in politics, there's a
separation between church and state, our citizenship is in heaven, we can't
impose our morality on other people, Jesus' kingdom is not of this world, we
must be neutral, we're not to judge,...?" Myths, Lies, and
Half-Truths deals with these and many more misconceived arguments.
You know what the Israelites were thinking. “Maybe
we should have stayed out of this political thing. We were at least safe when
we were ghettoized beyond the Jordan and could follow our privatized and
quietist faith.” There was even fear that things would get a lot worse once the
“Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land” heard about the defeat (7:9).
Joshua, voicing these concerns to God, did what many Christians have concluded
is the only action that should be taken. “Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell
on the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until evening, both he and
the elders of Israel” (7:7). In a word, they prayed ... hard.
What did God tell him to do? “So the LORD said to
Joshua, ‘Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? Israel
has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded
them’” (7:11). In effect, God told Joshua to stop praying and
act on the evil that brought them the defeat!
Prayer is not
a magical formula, an incantation that brings forth God like a genie from a
bottle. Prayer is an admission of weakness. It is in weakness that God can best
use us (2 Cor. 12:9–10). But
true faith and trust are not exercised if we do not act on the belief that God
will work for us even in our weakness. Prayer is not the end but the beginning
of the work God has called us to do, and in many cases, it is not a substitute
for action. J. I. Packer says it this way:
does what he does. His supernaturalizing of our lives enables Christians, as a
matter of fact, to do much for the Lord that they wouldn’t be able to do
otherwise. That’s the whole doctrine of gifts and ministry. It’s my part to see
what God calls me to do, to ask the Lord to enable me to do it, then to
get up off my knees and go confidently into action, watching to see what help I
shall be given, and finally to give thanks for what the Spirit did in and
through me. 
There is sin in the Christian camp. Entire
denominations support abortion and homosexuality or remain silent which is the
same as giving support. Politicians, many who claim to be Christians, maintain
that abortion should be a protected right. They’re “personally opposed” to
abortion, but they can’t impose their morality on others. Are they personally
opposed to slavery and racial discrimination? Sure they are. Would they vote
for laws to stop them? Sure they would. If someone is personally opposed
to abortion because abortion takes a human life, then a law prohibiting
abortion is a moral necessity.
The sins of
Achan—“the mantle of Shinar” (humanism) and “silver and gold” (mammon)—are the
sins of the church. Many pastors are afraid to lose members and their money if
they teach what the Bible says about certain sins. Their sermons are humanistic
in that they cater to fallen men and women and their needs rather than God and
His laws. We will not change things at the top until we change things at the
Prayer is a
good and necessary practice. But after we fall on our face, let’s be careful
not to cover our ears, shut our eyes, and bind our feet. We might just hear
God’s voice say, “Rise up! Get up and vote! Get your mother to vote! Get your
pastor to vote and to tell the congregation to vote! Vote in terms of what the
Bible says about these issues. Vote as a son of Issachar would vote: ‘Men who
understood the times with knowledge of what Israel should do’” (1 Chron. 12:32). This means being an informed
1. J.I. Packer,
“The Holy Spirit at Work,” Christianity Today (March 19,
1990). Emphasis added.[↩]