Thursday, November 20, 2014
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Viewpoint

In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow – there is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring you back to a place of passionate, persistent prayer for the nation?

“Viewpoint” allows the expression on the political, social and moral issues of the day. At times, you may not agree. But in the end, you will be energized to pray for America, with the prism of Scripture and a decidedly Godly direction as your guide. Plus, you can blog your comments to every article, have your say.

Read – then pray with an enlightened, more informed viewpoint for your nation and its leaders. 

Government Leaders Don’t Have A Prayer

View Point

Only two in ten Americans pray for elected officials

By James N. Watkins

The folks at Gallup recently interrupted people’s dinner time to ask, “Please tell me how you would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields.” So, I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, the top ten – actually bottom ten – occupations in America arranged by honesty and ethics:

  1. Local office holders (23%)
  2. Business executives (22%)
  3. Newspaper reporters (21%)
  4. Lawyers (20%)

    TV reporters (20%)

  1. Advertising practitioners (14%)

    State office holders (14%)

  1. Car salespeople (9%)
  2. Members of Congress (8%)
  3. Lobbyists (6%)

That should be some comfort to the president whose policies were reportedly up for a vote in the recent midterm election. Columnists opined that the president and Democrats got a “shellacking,” “beat down,” and “repudiation of its policies,” yet the Commander and Chief has an approval rating somewhere between 41 and 45 percent depending on the survey. If you add local, state and national legislators together, you get only 45 percent!

So, you would think with such a crisis of confidence in leaders, Christians would be rushing to their prayer closets, organizing prayer meetings at their churches and observing the apostle Paul’s admonition:

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (2 Timothy 1:2)

Nope!

A survey by Lifeway in conjunction with best-selling Christian author, Max Lucado, reveals that praying for leaders is not “first”—or second—or even eighth in Americans’ prayer priorities. So, here’s the top ten prayer list items:

  1. Family or friends (82%)
  2. My own problems and difficulties (74%)
  3. Good things that have occurred (54%)
  4. My own sin (42%)
  5. People in natural disasters (38%)
  6. God’s greatness (37%)
  7. My future prosperity (36%)
  8. People of other faiths or no faith (20%)
  9. Government leaders (12%)
  10. Celebrities or people in the public eye (5%)

Other items on America’s prayer list include winning the lottery, favorite team to win a game, finding a good parking spot, not getting caught speeding, success in something they know wouldn’t please God, for someone to get fired, and for someone’s relationship to end. (Some people could use a refresher course on “The Lord’s Prayer!”)

Keep in mind, the Lifeway study doesn’t imply that the average American who prays spends 12 percent of their prayer time praying for government leaders. Nope, again! It means that only one in eight of Americans who prays brings their elected officials to the Lord.

There may not be a statistical correlation between lack of prayer and that religious terrorists and dangerous cults are prospering not only in the Middle East but right here in the U.S. of A. Or that the government is reaching new lows in credibility and popularity (President Obama’s approval is lower than Richard Nixon’s when he left the White House after being impeached). Or hat celebrities and sports figures—who many look to as role models—are behaving extremely badly. But I suspect it is more than a mere coincidence. The actual words of God in 2 Chronicles 7:14 certainly imply there is a correlation:

“. . . if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

And I suspect, that since you are a part of the Presidential Prayer Team, you spend significantly more time in prayer for local, state, national and world leaders than the average Gallup demographic. Thanks for your faithfulness. But, to loosely paraphrase Christ’s words, “The heretics are plentiful, but the pray-ers are few.” Let’s pray for more Prayer Team readers to “heal our land.”

Jim is an award-winning author and contributor to thirty books. So far this season, his prayers for the Green Bay Packers are being answered.




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