I’m on the mailing list of the Presidential Prayer Team. I keep hoping for an armband of some sort, but so far all I get are emails.
Why “presidential”? As it says on their masthead, the Presidential Prayer Team is “Mobilizing millions of Americans to pray daily for our President, our Leaders, our Nation, and our Armed Forces.” Well, if press accounts are any guide, people like George Bush, Kenneth Lay and Jack Abramoff certainly need spiritual assistance! The Presidential Prayer Team takes its scriptural authority from 1 Timothy 2:1-2 –
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
– and not, for example, from 1 Samuel 8:10-19, which begins:
And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots….
…And to protect his oil fields, no doubt. But let’s not cavil here! 1 Timothy clearly takes precedence, since it is so rich in instruction for those who desire to walk in the paths of righteousness. The rest of the chapter just excerpted, for example, tells us how we are to pray:
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
Now I know some liberals may find the Word of God a little hard to take, but that just shows how narrow-minded they are. Men raising up their hands and praying out loud, free of any bedeviling doubts, while their women bow their heads in silence and make babies: why, this could easily describe our fundamentalist brothers and sisters in Islam, too, or in any number of other false religions. It’s very ecumenical!
So I do hope you’ll all go online and sign up for the Presidential Prayer Team’s special Presidential Prayer Rally, scheduled for President’s Day – Monday, February 20. They point out that “Whether he’s signing new legislation, meeting with the family of a fallen soldier or protecting our nation from terrorism, our President and Commander in Chief, George W. Bush, says your prayers sustain and guide him through the complex decisions he faces daily.” Click here to sign up for a time slot. And don’t forget to invite all your friends!
Of course, the actual content of your prayer is between you and God. But I know some of us become a little tongue-tied when we start thinking about including matters of such global significance in our private devotions. So if you’d like to share your ideas for some properly prayerful language that might fit the bill next Monday, please feel free to use the comment boxes below.