Prayer Should Precede Our Engagement - Culture Proof

Prayer Should Precede Our Engagement

Psalm 33:16

The king is not saved by a mighty army;
A warrior is not rescued by great strength.
A horse is a false hope for victory;
Nor does it rescue anyone by its great strength.

How often do we do things in our strength? If we consider our lives and the difficulties we face, are we more prone to rest on the arm of the flesh, or is our dependence firmly on God? My best guess is that we are more bent toward trying to resolve our problems with the temporal tools we have at our disposal. How often is our first thought to take our concerns to God in prayer?

Prayer is a tool given to every believer by God, enabling us to wage the good fight. As I observe where we are now as a nation and the politics of the day, I pose questions: “How much prayer has gone into our political engagement? Are we merely focused on picking the 'right' candidate who checks our political boxes? Has our knowledge of candidates’ political stances on issues quenched the fervency of our prayers to God for His direction?" Having voter guides and watchdog websites to monitor candidates and their platforms is a blessing, but it is no excuse for becoming lax in seeking God for His wisdom and direction.

While understanding and participating in the political process are important civic responsibilities, our greater responsibility as Christian citizens is not to politic but to pray. We’ve spent far too much time, money, and energy on politically expedient efforts without expressing that same fervor in profoundly eternal efforts.

Prayer is foundational. Our ability to engage with biblical discernment in the civic process rests upon our fervent prayers. Furthermore, any opportunity for the general public to know how to vote and engage “rightly” is tethered to prevailing prayer for our fellow citizens and persistent proclamation of the Gospel.

We can get the “right” candidates in office. We can encourage people to vote the “right” way. We can get the “right” laws passed. Nevertheless, the fact is that all of this could happen without the hearts of men being changed. Men can vote “rightly” and live wrongly because their vote is based upon temporary comforts and not on eternal benefits.

Daniel is an example of a Yahweh worshipper who served as a politician in captivity in Babylon to the glory of God as a man with an unwavering focus on prayer.

Daniel had a high political position as one of three commissioners over the satraps, or governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires, along with several of their successors. Daniel had favor from God and began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit.

The politicians became envious of Daniel and devised a plan to ruin him. Trying to find corruption in Daniel, they found nothing. Eventually, they concluded there would be no way to get Daniel unless it was about his fidelity to God.

What a testimony!!

The politicians schemed and created a plan. They went to King Darius and, playing on his ego, claimed all the other high-ranking officials equivalent to governors, senators, and representatives, thought the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who made a petition to any god or man besides King Darius for 30 days would be thrown into the lions’ den. The king, in his folly, signed the document.

Daniel 6:10 testifies, “Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.

When Daniel found himself in this tight situation, he didn’t try to politic his way out of it. He simply did what he was in the practice of doing. He didn’t close his windows so others couldn’t see him or hide out in his closet, but he went to his roof chamber, opened his windows toward Jerusalem, and continued praying three times a day before God as he had previously done.

Politicians wet their fingers, raise them in the air, and try to read how the wind blows. Politicians often compromise when sticky situations occur, moving to the right or the left. They change up their approach to suit the situation, but in Psalm 125:1, it is written,

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surrounds Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forever.

Regarding Daniel, we know what happened next. The politicians reported Daniel and the King had to abide by the decree he had signed. Daniel was thrown into the lion's den. However, just like Daniel was faithful to God, God was faithful to shut the lions’ mouths on Daniel's behalf.

We don’t move, and we don’t change course with all that’s at hand. Let’s be encouraged to continue in what we know to do. Let our devotion to God be unmoved in this political climate. Let us remain faithful to God. Let’s be people of prayer.

The prayer of the believer is never to be an afterthought. Daniel was habitually praying before this edict was handed down from the king, and Daniel didn’t pause his time of prayer when the edict was handed down. No matter what happens in the political climate, we are called to pray without ceasing!

Prayer always precedes engagement. The Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:1-7, “First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made in behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,  who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

Let’s do the first and often hard work of actively praying, then watch the Lord move on behalf of His prayerful people.
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