by Henry T. Blackaby
All of us seem to be staggering under a load of fast-changing events and values in the nation. Many are asking, "But, what can I (we) do?" First, we must never say, "There is nothing I can do!" This is just not true, especially for Christians. Read carefully the following injunction the Apostle Paul gave to young Timothy in a personal letter to him as he worked among the churches:
"... I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence (dignity). For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth...." (1 Tim. 2:1-4).
So we can do something-we can PRAY! We can do this personally, as families, and together with other Christians, on all levels of our relationships. To pray is to approach God Himself Who can make a significant difference. He does answer the prayers of His people! Paul knew this firsthand in his own life and the distressing life of the people of God in the early churches. God heard His people as they prayed in the very hostile world of the Roman Empire, and "turned that Roman Empire upside down," saving multitudes and changing the world from that day to this very day.
Now it is our turn. Paul exhorted young Timothy and all believers. Paul did not see prayer as an option but as a divine command. God would change their world when they prayed, with supplications and intercessions. And this was to be done for "those who have the rule over us" (i.e. local, state, and national leaders).
We are facing a nation-determining election time. The leaders we pray for earnestly God may bring into leadership responsibilities, to guide us to be able to live "quiet and peaceable lives," and to live them "in all godliness and reverence." We know that God would hear such prayer, for Paul adds that "... this is good and acceptable in the sight of God...."
But, be careful to use Scriptures to guide you as you pray! And be careful to prepare your own life, so God can answer your praying. This Scripture is just one of many you could use to guide you as you pray in this time of a national spiritual emergency. Pray personally! Pray with your family, and guide them with spiritual leadership and example. Pray with them out loud, so they can hear your heart before God, and so they can watch God answer your praying. Lead and gather others to pray with you, in small groups. Participate in your church's prayer meetings. Respond when the larger Christian community calls for corporate or regional praying.
The greatest contribution you can personally make during these days of "national decision" is to pray-as God has both urged, and commanded you to do.