Twice as I watched the Republican National Convention, (On television – since there was no room for “drop-in guests”) I saw prayer. I did some research and found the Democrats also had some prayer at their private party. I like prayer, I pray, praying is a good thing. But I couldn’t help but wonder ….. why?
Do these politicians come asking God to do as HE pleases? Do they come seeking HIS will? or…. Is it like asking God to bless them so they can do as they please? Is it about asking God to put his approval on whatever they do… so we can call it “God’s will”? Is it about acknowledging God, creator and sustainer, or is it about creating a state religion that can sustain right of the powerful to rule?
I just wonder? The opening prayer at the RNC was by a Mormon, Thurl Bailey, former NBA player with the Utah Jazz. Four years in a row, Mormons have opened or closed the RNC. Now I know the LDS church is not all too fond of evangelical Christians (except when it comes to sharing political power). I know the savior of the LDS is not the same savior we Christians worship. So if the object of our prayer is not of real importance …. can we expect a prayer at the RNC (or DNC) from Muslims, Jews, Hindus, or Buddhists as well?
I have nothing against generic “prayer” in a corporate setting, it has its place. But disciples of the Lord Jesus need to realize this type of prayer is not the same as real biblical prayer of believers. I do worry about prayer and God talk becoming so tied to the the “US of A” that it becomes a form of STATE WORSHIP that muddies the understanding of what real CHRIST WORSHIP is.
Maybe we need to think about what we are doing and why we are doing it?
Just for closers – here is Donald Miller (someone I respect as a speaker and writer) closing the DNC in prayer this year.
This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.
We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.
We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.
Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.
Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.
Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.
Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.
Help us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.
Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.
We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.
Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.
A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.
Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.
Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.
Lastly, father, unify us.
Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.
And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.
God we know that you are good.
Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.
I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.
Let Him be our example.