I want to believe that our nation genuinely wants to be a "nation under God." However, the laws, the court decisions, the government mandated regulations, and the morally bankrupt culture which drives these aspects of our government paint a very different picture. The Scripture passage that immediately comes to mind is the one which refers to a wayward people. "These people honor me with their lips while their hearts are far from me." (See Matthew 15:8 and Isaiah 29:13.)
The prayer service in Cheyenne was well-planned and organized. The topics of prayer covered a lot of territory. The music was uplifting and moved the heart to consider "How Great Is Our God"! I desperately wanted to get a sense of God's presence among us in the Capitol Rotunda during this time of prayer to offset the typical experience that takes place during the legislative sessions. Any time I enter the capitol building while the legislature is meeting I get a deep sense of anguish and a heavy heart. There is truly a deep need for a vast amount of prayer for our governing bodies at all levels.
We specifically prayed for our government officials today at the national, state, and local levels. As we did so, I realized that I have not spent enough time doing that on my own. I have a responsibility to pray for those in positions of authority. That will be far more productive than simply criticizing and ridiculing their failures at leadership. If our politics reflect where we are as a culture, then I need to do some serious praying for society as a whole. There is a need for prayer that God will raise up holy men and women to serve in our governing bodies.
We prayed for families. There is a lot of hurt and brokenness in our families today. The impact of this brokenness has a ripple effect throughout the land. Our nation will only be as healthy as the families in it. The attempted redefinition of marriage is simply a consequence of the infiltration into our schools and communities by groups such as Planned Parenthood and others which seek to extinguish all sense of sexual morality. We are reaping what we have sown. The disintegration of the family unit is the fruit being produced. The lack of effective moral leadership from our churches and other noble institutions has been detrimental to the well-being of society. We need these beacons of light to shine brightly for us once again.
We prayed for our educational institutions. It seemed quite hypocritical to pray for our schools when everything possible has been done in recent years to remove God from these institutions. There is a reluctance in many schools to even study the Bible as a piece of literature for fear of being sued. Sex education and the exposure to alternative lifestyles through this process is mandatory, but don't you dare consider saying a prayer while on the premises of a public school building!
We prayed for the media and the entertainment industry. Vile lyrics contained in rap songs, extreme violence in video games, and explicit sexual scenes in our movies all lead us down a path of destruction. Much prayer is needed for the entertainment industry. I don't think we can just opt to "Leave it to Beaver." We all need to be involved in shaping our culture. Spending money by going to movies or concerts which exploit people and objectify women makes us part of the problem. What are we doing to demand that wholesome pictures be made? Are we making a statement by the way in which we spend our hard-earned dollars?
We prayed for businesses and their owners. Wouldn't it be wonderful if honesty and integrity filled every business transaction? Wouldn't it be wonderful if every person who wanted to work could find a job and was able to earn a livable wage? How do we create a world with plentiful economic opportunities and maintain reasonable expectations for the environment in the process?
We also prayed for the military. It is my hope that we can some day celebrate peace throughout the world. A well-prepared military that doesn't need to be used for battle would be a true gift indeed. Maybe a day will come when "Peace Is Flowing Like A River" will be more than just a song. It will be a reality.
The theme of today's gathering for the National Day of Prayer sums it up:
"Lord, Hear Our Cry!"