Our house is divided. We are not a “United” States. The tone of our nation’s conversations, debates, and demonstrations is ugly, divisive, accusative, demoralizing, destructive, and growing deeper. The trends in the various sectors of our nation’s interests are to first choose sides by defining who is “us” and “them”. Then, go after the other side and whatever “those people” are trying to do on the other side, derail them. Most of the time, there is more than enough shouted across rooms, written in social media, reported by news agencies, or suggested by pundits to keep rancor at a high pitch. That results in anger growing daily and both sides more determined to take out their opposition.
Democracies are ugly, but they are much better than being ruled by despots where there is no opposition allowed. In a free republic, we are not always civil or willing to hear opposing views. But, every side that has an opinion regarding any action, need, or proposed recommendation has the right to speak. We should be praying that while one side is speaking, those on the other side would be respectful in listening. Rudeness does not belong only to one group. All of us are capable of being “equal opportunity irritants and offenders”.
Some years ago, Dr. Charles Stanley wrote how Christians should pray for our leaders during difficult seasons in our nation. Considering the events of these past weeks, these are very timely.
Dr. Charles Stanley, pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga., has suggested ten ways to pray for leaders who occupy the highest offices in the land.
- Pray that they would realize their daily need for cleansing of their sin by Jesus Christ.
- Pray that they would recognize their personal inadequacy to fulfill their tasks and that they would depend upon God for knowledge, wisdom, and the courage to do what is right.
- Pray that they would reject all counsel that violates spiritual principles, trusting God to prove them right.
- Pray that they would resist those who would pressure them to violate their conscience.
- Pray that they would reverse the trends of socialism and humanism in this nation, both of which deify man rather than God.
- Pray that they would be ready to sacrifice their personal ambitions and political careers for the sake of this nation, if yielding them would be in the best interest of their country.
- Pray that they would rely upon prayer and the Word of God as the source of their daily strength, wisdom and courage.
- Pray they would restore dignity, honor, trustworthiness, and righteousness to the office they hold.
- Pray that they would remember to be good examples in their conduct to the fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters of this nation.
- Pray that they would be reminded daily that they are accountable to Almighty God for the decisions they make. (Excerpted from the Rebirth of America, Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation).