Category Archives: Prayer, the Lifeline

If we do not talk with God and listen to his voice in prayer, we will never accomplish his purposes for us. We will never even know what his purposes are.

Why Were the Polls so Wrong?

Until about 8PM on November 8, nobody in the media was predicting anything but a win for Hillary Clinton. Among the polls taken in the days leading up to the election, the only difference was the difference between a squeaker and a landslide. All the polls predicted a win for Hillary Clinton.

Yet, Donald Trump won, and he won resoundingly, by a healthy margin of electoral votes. Maps of results by state were clearly dominated by the color red. According to the Constitution, electoral votes are the votes that determine the election. The polls taken before the election predicted a win for the wrong candidate, and that prediction was wrong, dead wrong, profoundly wrong.

Why did all the polls miss the prediction?

The polls missed the prediction, because God is still in charge. It would be easier to explain the results by hypothesizing that the polls were unwittingly skewed by an ill-suppressed desire for a Democrat win that led pollsters to de-randomize the selection of people to be polled. I, however, attribute the failure of the polls to foresee Donald Trump’s win to the fact that God has other plans for this country, I believe that people who are in touch with God prayed in submission to God’s will, and I believe God heard their prayers. A win that topples the predictions of well-validated statistical analysis is no big feat for the One who walks on water.

The Bible teaches us that we who have been purchased by the blood of Christ can cast out deeply embedded demons through prayer. We can move mountains by prayer. When our prayers are offered in submission to the will of Almighty God, the outcome can be utterly unexpected by minds confined to the time/space universe.

The Bible also teaches us that God likes to be recognized when he achieves victory, so it would not be out of character for God to set up a situation in which his intervention is the only possible explanation for the events. I believe that this may be the deep reason that nobody got it right.

Our election story could also be delightfully in parallel with the Bible story of the prophet Micaiah. When ancient kings thought about going into battle, they routinely summoned prophets to forecast the likelihood that they would win. King Ahab asked the prophets of Israel about his prospects for success in a battle against his neighbor, and they all predicted an easy win.  After a little verbal sparring, Micaiah told the king how God had sent a lying spirit to the prophets in order to entice Ahab to go into battle and die in a resounding defeat. The polls forecasting that Hillary Clinton’s win was inevitable were like the words of the prophets deceived by the lying spirit.

It served God’s purpose for people to know that Ahab’s defeat was God’s plan. Is it possible that it serves God’s purposes for people to see that Hillary’s defeat serves God’s plan?

After Election Day, when the vote tally showed that Donald Trump had won the presidential election, a lot of people, including me, breathed a sigh of relief. We felt we had received a reprieve after 8 years under the leadership of a man who had been leading the country in the wrong direction. Hillary Clinton’s campaign promises deliberately built on the “legacy” of Barack Obama, assuring people who were pleased with his work that it would continue if she were elected. Those of us who believed that Obama’s agenda was utterly wrong for America were glad to see the Obama juggernaut halted.

Since the direction Obama took was the wrong direction, it seems quite natural to believe that the direction Donald Trump takes will be so different that it will surely be the right direction. People who yearn for the country to move in a different direction are expressing their fervent hope that Donald Trump will undo many things that Obama considers to be admirable accomplishments. They have high hopes that the new president will fix what they believe to have been broken by the Obama administration. Voters need to remember that we dare not put our hope in any human being. It is tempting to rejoice exuberantly that Obama’s agenda is off the table while we forget that Trump’s agenda is also might not be God’s agenda.

We only exchange one tyranny for another if we put our hope in Donald Trump.

People of God must be humble in our gratitude for this election outcome, and we must not overload Donald Trump by inappropriately putting our hope for the future of the USA in him. We must continue to hope only in God. Donald Trump will, I believe, be a good president, but he is still only a man. He will make mistakes. He will disappoint people who prayed that he be elected. His administration could ultimately be a terrible blot on the history of the USA (As Ahab’s reign was a terrible blot on the history of Israel) unless the people who prayed for this election continue to pray for America.

A lot of people prayed for Hillary Clinton’s defeat, because they felt that she would surely continue to lead the country in the same wrong direction that Obama traveled. Donald Trump campaigned on  taking the country in a different direction. However, a different wrong direction is still wrong. Whoever prayed that God would give us a president who would put us on the right path must continue to pray that God will guide our new president in everything he does. We must be his prayer warriors to invoke God’s guidance in all that he says and does.

We give thanks for the hope that our country will turn away from the path to destruction on which Barack Obama was embarked, but we must pray every day that our new president be protected from the temptation simply to take us down a different wrong path. We must put our hope for a blessed, safe, and prosperous future in God Almighty, not in Donald Trump.

Pray for Donald Trump. Pray for his administration. Pray every day for America.

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Pray For America Today

Dear Heavenly Father,

This world is a mess, but then you know that already. The USA is in a real mess, and you know that, too, but Jesus teaches us to come to you with our concerns. He taught us to know that you care about us and our concerns, even our petty concerns. Thank you for that reassurance.

Still, we don’t think the state of our nation is a petty concern. Please be patient with us as we lift up to you our worries.

We thank you for the courageous people who followed your guidance to start our nation in 1776, and we thank you for your blessing and guidance ever since. This country has blessed people all around the world, and we give you the glory for that fact. We know that when our nation has been obedient to you, we have been blessed, and when we have wandered, we have simply not been in the right place to be blessed. We see that recent developments are destructive and have taken us far from the center of your will. We see that the troubles which beset us clearly point us to the error of our ways.

We recognize that you gave us our Constitution for the blessing of peace and good order for the people who live here. We thank you for the preservation of peace and good order in our country. We are richly blessed, and many people around the world see this country as a shining light. On our worst days here, many people know that your guidance and care for us makes this place the best place in the world for humans to live.

Father, our contentious election process has stretched over the past 18 months like a vicious, never-ending storm. Please protect us from the pain of this campaign season and endow us with the wisdom to select a good president. We know well that no president can govern with righteousness except you lead him or her, and we ask that our president, now and hereafter, may hear your voice and obey. We pray that all citizens may see your blessing in the process of voting for the next president.

We also ask that regardless of the outcome, we will trust you above all earthly powers for our blessing and protection. We ask your guidance for the one who is selected. We ask your guidance for all who are and will be part of our government. We know that our government exists as your servant to keep peace and good order on earth, and we know that government is the servant of your authority, not a replacement for it. Hear our fervent prayers that you may guide the process of electing the next president, and that you may guide the winner according to your holy and eternal purposes. May all your children turn to you for comfort, not to the election, and may all citizens be able to make peace with the outcome and trust you for everything good.

Forgive us our fractious, embattled behavior, Lord. Forgive us for the sake of Jesus who died for all of us.

In his holy Name we pray,

Amen

For suggestions for further prayer, go to this week’s Prayer Guide.

When do you Pray for America?

Due to lack of response to a weekly noon call for shared prayer, the scheduled call is being discontinued. Please respond to the poll if you feel comfortable doing so.

I am very concerned about the need for prayer for our nation. The USA is in serious crisis, and the frenzy surrounding the two strongest candidates is evidence of the crisis. I am asking my readers to answer this poll in order to help me understand how people respond to it. If the poll does not express your response, please feel welcome to comment about what you think America needs.

I also invite your comments about the efficacy of prayer. Do you believe that prayer has an effect on anything?

How Do We Pray for America?

People ask how to pray for our country. Shall we ask for God’s favor? Shall we ask for protection? What should we ask for? The answer is that Jesus himself gave us guidance in his own words, in the prayer we rightly call the Lord’s Prayer. Following that guidance, I offer this prayer for America.

Oh Father in Heaven, our Creator and our Savior,

May your name be hallowed in every word and deed of citizens and visitors to our nation.

May your name be hallowed among all who call our nation home.

May your kingdom be established here on earth and most especially here within the hearts of Americans.

May your will be done in every corner of our nation and the world.

May we acknowledge that all we have is your abundant gift to us for our blessing and our welfare.

May you pour out your righteousness, the holy blood of Jesus over every person Cleanse each of us of all our sinful desires and sinful acts, and teach us to forgive and bless one another richly that our every thought may be to bless our neighbor.

Show us the way to go, and nudge us away from the tempting thoughts of evil.

Lord God, our heavenly father, rule us here on earth and across our nation.

May glory surround you and honor you forever.

Amen

If you would like to join others to Pray for America each Thursday, go here and sign up. We meet via conference call for a half hour each Thursday at 12:00PM EDT.  Prayer is our lifeline for daily living. Prayer is the way we rightly align ourselves with God’s plans. Sign up today to PRAY FOR AMERICA.

Photo courtesy of StickyJesus.com

Pray a Psalm

Martin Luther and Dietrich Bonhoeffer both assert we are wise to pray the psalms. Bonhoeffer writes with real passion about the fact Jesus would have learned the psalms as his prayer book during his upbringing in Nazareth. It is, therefore, easy to imagine Jesus was praying psalms when the disciples from time to time searched for Jesus and found him praying.

Yesterday, April 17, our pastor preached from Psalm 23, and he repeated Continue reading Pray a Psalm