Minister’s Forum: Values, morals and prayer
Nov. 3, the day after the election, the surprising issue that seemed to have a deciding influence on George W. Bush being re-elected was that of “values.” Most of the popular political pundits saw the outcome hinging on the economy, the war in Iraq, and how much people hated or liked President Bush. And then “kaboom,” exit poll interviews revealed that to a very large majority of people the issue of “values” really mattered.
I love these kind of surprises. Something like this shows how affected even the experts can be by what the other experts are thinking, and how badly even the experts can miss it. I was also greatly heartened by the fact that a good majority of the American public believes enough in values to cause them to vote accordingly. This has not always been the case.
I believe the other hidden issue that had a deciding impact on the outcome of the elections was prayer. In January of this year I challenged our congregation to pray fervently throughout the year, seeing what was at stake in the “culture war” taking place in America. We held frequent prayer meetings throughout the year, along with tens of thousands of other Christian churches in this nation. Of course, we don’t expect to hear much about this in the political commentaries.
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34.) Morals matter both to individuals and nations. Although we don’t always see the immediate affect, we will inevitably be blessed or suffer by how we choose to live. Romans 1:18-32 reveals the frightening deterioration that occurs when individuals or peoples turn from God and right behavior and give themselves over to their own selfish ways and desires. Our culture currently is suffering many of the consequences of our choices and immoral legislation.
I challenge the Christians who read this article to seize the “door of opportunity” that is before us at this season of our nation’s history. I believe that the prayers that have been lifted up for our country, especially in the last quarter century, have filled the golden bowls in heaven (Revelations 5:8) and that we can see some very positive gains made toward turning our country in the direction of greater righteousness in the years ahead. But we must pray. We don’t have to rely on prayer meetings, as important as they are. We can train ourselves to pray whenever we see critical legislation before the Congress or the Supreme Court. Your prayer is recorded in heaven and does make a difference.
– Terry Edwards is pastor at Lake Tahoe Christian Fellowship.