Today, my pastor, Dr. Bryan Hurlbutt, gave a very timely sermon, considering what is happening in our country. He's been going through 1 Timothy and today, his sermon was on the first seven verses of chapter two. Here is the passage:
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. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. (ESV)
Notice that in the first four verses it says, "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. This is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." Bryan went on to explain that as tempting as it is, we should stop slamming all of the political candidates and instead pray for them as they have all been created in God's image and it isn't too late to help them get saved. He made this comment: "Prayer is our primary and common participation in the good of government", then went on to make the points that 1) We need to talk to God more than others about the candidates and politicians, 2) We need to see the candidates as people before we see them as policy makers--which I do, but I commonly see the most recent ones as evil people, 3) We need to keep our prayers informed theologically and by personal piety, and 4) We need to pray with regard to the role of government in God's economy.
He went on to expound on each of these and I cannot do that part justice. Of course, though, all of this struck a chord with me because I have thought of it as my personal duty and responsibility to do my part to bring down the evil ones by virtue of spreading the word as much as possible, and I know that I haven't talked to God about it as much as I have talked to others.
So that part, with regard the the current political climate and the current two major choices of candidates is the timely part. And I find that I need to seriously examine the kind of rhetoric I use, and the kind of flamethrower I've become. A large part of the sermon was about the importance prayer should take in a Christian's life. Bryan also made these observations: 1) Prayer is a tool that helps you acknowledge God's sovereign care, 2) Out of that, you process and accept the fact that you are dependent, 3) you begin to see Him as sovereign and begin self-assessment, and begin to talk it out with Him, and 4) there begins to be some realignment in your life with the desires of God.
He made several other points that I deem worth of mention, but here is the one I'll leave you with. He said, "Have a running conversation with God that keeps getting interrupted by people throughout the day, rather that a running conversation with people and every once in a while talking with God."
I see that I have some priorities to work on.