Throughout the Bible, we are told to pray. We are told to pray for those who we like and those who we don’t like. We are told to pray in the good times and the bad and to give thanks for those times. A Christian must be a praying Christian. Yet, for all the times that we are told to pray there is one time in the Bible that a man was told to not pray. His name is Jeremiah.
In Jeremiah 14:11-12 God says to Jeremiah,
“Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.”
In this passage, God tells Jeremiah not to pray for the people of the nation of Israel. They had so disobeyed God that His judgment was inevitable. What a tragic situation. That, however, is not our situation. Recently, I have been heavily impressed to pray for the salvation of our president or leaders and the people of our nation. When I was reading in Jeremiah, I began to ask God, “Is this what you have in store for America? If this is what you have in store for our country then why do I feel so impressed to pray for the salvation of our president?”
While I was praying, three specific passages came to my mind. Let me share with you why I have hope for America.
1. America is not Israel. It never has been and never will be.
God told Jeremiah not to pray for the nation of Israel. They had His law, understood His law, had seen His miracles, but they rejected Him, and deliberately walked in rebellion to Him. It is true that there are those in our nation who know the law of God and have rebelled against it. That is not true of our nation as a whole. God, in our age, has not told us not to pray for our nation. In fact, He has told us the opposite.
1 Timothy 2:1-8, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”
This passage is very clear. Jeremiah was told not to pray for his people and for the leaders of Israel. We, on the other hand, are specifically commanded that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks should be made for all men. Then specifically He says to pray, “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” He tells us exactly what we are to pray for these men. In verse 4, He says that, “God will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” God has given His people, specifically pastors since 1 Timothy is a pastoral letter, the responsibility to pray for those in leadership. It is God’s will for us to pray for the leaders of this nation including our president, our vice-president, and congressional leaders. We ought to pray believing that God will hear and answer this prayer.
1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
We know the will of God from the Word of God. We know that it is God’s will that we pray for leaders to be saved. Let’s do it and believe that God hears and answers prayer according to His will.
2. God’s Word teaches us that He will avenge us of our adversaries.
There are those who would argue that President Obama is the most anti-Christian president we have ever had. He has ridiculed the Word of God denying a six-day creation. He has promoted the homosexual agenda. He is promoting abortion. Though he calls himself a Christian, he has stood against Christian values on every issue. So let’s look at what God says we are suppose to do when someone is oppressing us. Luke 18:1-8 is where we will receive the instruction.
Luke 18:1-18, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
God does not say we are to run from the adversary. He does not say we are to fear the adversary. He does not tell us that we are to worry about what the adversary is going to do. He teaches us that we are to pray that God would avenge us and we are to pray day and night. He promises us that if we keep asking Him to avenge us, “though he bear long with them” he will. God wants us in faith to pray for the salvation of our leaders and to pray that God will take vengeance on those that oppress us. We are not to protest. We are not to criticize. We are not to condemn. We are simply to pray that God will take care of the situation.
3. God works in the most impossible circumstances. He can convert the hardest heart.
Acts 9:1-8, “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.”
In this passage of Scripture, we see Saul of Tarsus as a terrorist in his day. Saul wanted Stephen dead.
Acts 9:1, “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord.”
He hated Christ. He hated the disciples of Christ. He wanted their total annihilation and wanted to be the instrument by which they were destroyed. Yet, God saved him. I believe that God saved him in answer to prayer. I believe that God’s people at that time were praying for God to avenge them of their adversary. If God can save Saul of Tarsus and turn him into the Apostle Paul, then God can do the same thing for our president, our vice-president, our cabinet, our congress, and our senators. God can bring America to repentance and revival.
In the midst of what God is doing in our country, He can protect you and supply your needs according to His riches and glory. I believe America right now is experiencing the chastening hand of God. I believe we are reaping what we have sown as a nation. I also believe that makes us ripe for revival. Let’s believe God, be people of prayer, and watch God do great things.
Luke 18:8, “I tell you [the truth] that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
Do I have enough faith to pray daily that God will convert our leaders, bring our nation to repentance, avenge us of our adversaries, and bring revival?
REMEMBER…Seek first the Kingdom.