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Prayer, Plain and Simple

As we chose our next President of the United States, let’s take a quick look at some virtues that constitute excellent leadership and pray for a leader who reflects them well.

“The Lord and his anointed one are my witnesses today,” Samuel declared, “that my hands are clean.” 1 Samuel 12:5

Integrity.

Samuel was retiring from his leadership position in Israel. A King would now replace him. Before he faded into history, he wanted to take the opportunity to right any wrongs he might have committed. “Have I cheated anyone, oppressed anyone, perverted justice for anyone?” he asks. 
“Have I ever placed myself above the law to achieve my place politically?”

“No,” his constituency answered in unison.

Imagine a politician that can leave his/her office fully satisfied that they did their very best to walk in integrity. That’s the kind of leader we can pray for.

“God is not a human, so he does not lie.” (Numbers 23:19)

Honesty.

Politicians have created a reputation for themselves; they often speak in half-truths and outright falsehoods. David prayed in Psalm 119, “Keep me from lying to myself.” Perhaps our leaders would be truthful with the world if they were first honest with themselves.

Imagine a politician whose words are so trustworthy that we can literally bank on what they tell us. That’s the kind of leader we can pray for.

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Humility.

Saul, the first King of Israel, proved to be a dismal failure. Although he was a brilliant military leader, he was plagued with insecurity as well as pride – a recipe for domineering leadership. Insecure people often over-compensate with boasting and self-congratulatory speeches. Saul set up a monument to himself and felt at liberty to bend God’s rules when it was convenient for him.

Imagine a President that doesn’t feel the need to toot his/her own horn but just lets his/her good judgement speak for themselves.

“The greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Love.

One brilliant definition of love is, “To fight for another’s highest possible good.” Imagine a President that loves our country so much that every decision is based not on political gain, legacy-building, or cover-up.

Imagine our POTUS with love-based impetus. One who asks the question, “What would love do?” Love would fight for its constituency. Love would speak the truth to its constituency. Love would set aside personal gain for the sake of its constituency.

It may be a lot to ask for a leader with these virtues. Who reading this (or writing this) can possibly live up to these standards? We don’t need a politician with a record of perfection, nor do we need a leader who is an expert in all things Biblical. But it would certainly be a blessing to have a leader whose character is moving in this trajectory – one who is seeking after honesty, integrity, humility, and love.

Father,

Please give us a President with keen self-awareness, with sincere intentions. Grant us leaders who rule themselves with integrity, honesty, and transparency.

Give us a leader whose heart is self-aware.

And Lord, I can’t expect these things from my leaders without taking a good, long look in the mirror. Today I renew my commitment to be a godly leader in my sphere of influence (small though it may be). Continually transform me into the likeness of your dear Son, Jesus.

In His Name I pray, Amen.

“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” Psalm 107:2

The Psalmist in chapter 107 outlines four basic types of people that need redemption. To one degree or another, we all have fallen into at least one of these four categories. All dilemmas equally desperate, the remedy is the same: cry out to God for help. A simple prayer is all he is waiting for. Why doesn’t he intervene without our prayers? Perhaps because God doesn’t go where He is not invited.

Group one. Psalm 107:4-9
These people lost their bearings. They wandered away from God and became destitute. They were homeless, lost, hungry, and thirsty. But when they cried out to God he rescued them and “led them straight to safety,” satisfying their hunger both literally and spiritually.

Group two. Psalm 107:10-16
These people lost their mind. They turned from the blessed promises of God and found themselves in a very dark place emotionally and intellectually. This led to a season of brokenness in which they became enslaved and hopeless. They cried out to God, in desperation and he led them out of their darkness and gloom, snapping the chains of their slavery, setting them free.

Group three. Psalm 107:17-22
These people lost their health. Foolish decisions led them to turn their backs on God which led to illness. They cried out to God, and he “sent His Word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.”

Group four. Psalm 107:23-32
These people lost their moorings. They were busy and distracted with their work and travel. One storm came up and they just about lost everything; they were terrorized with fear. They cried out to God and he calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. “What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor!” (verse 30)

If you have lost your bearings, your mind, your health, or your moorings, cry out to God with us today.

God!

Help! I need you desperately. I’ve somehow lost my grip on you, and it has proven to be a deadly misstep on my part. Please forgive me! Please rescue me as your Word promises. And I will from this day forward set aside my foolish, negative, rebellious, and self-centered ways and walk with you.

In Jesus’ Name Amen

Watch how God rescues you, and “say so” by telling someone – or commenting below – what God has done to rescue you!

 

“For the earth is the Lord’s, and he has set the world in order.” (1 Samuel 2:8b)

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…” (1 Corinthians 14:33a)

God is a God of order. Order in our lives promotes peace. The Hebrew term Shalom denotes a world where things are in their rightful place – all inclusively containing our hearts, our relationships, our finances, everything, all the way down to our closets.

What in your life is spilling over and spinning out of control? Whatever that is, be it spiritual or physical, let’s pray together to ask God to give us strength to put things to order in our lives. Then we will enjoy the peace that order brings.

Father,

I want to bring to you this area of my life that is causing consternation and overwhelm. It feels out of control and is robbing me of joy, the joy you give that is my strength each day. Please give me wisdom and the resources I need to bring order into this chaos. Give me understanding and the time and strength to do the job, as well as the willingness to change. Then, Lord, help me to maintain it, to daily steward this area of my life so that it stays within the boundaries that I set with your help.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

“This is my body which is given for you.” Luke 22:16

“And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” Romans 12:1

Father,

Your Son offered his body up as a sacrifice in my place. The least I can do is offer this body back to you. I’ve given you my heart; it is your home. It is no longer heavy, cynical, critical, and lacking in empathy. You are remodeling it to suit your taste for servanthood, beauty, and glory. I’ve given you my mind. You are transforming it to a place where joy grows. It used to be a place of darkness, hopelessness, and depression. How grateful I am! You are changing my will and aligning it with yours. It used to be centered on me, now it is growing in You-centeredness and other-centeredness.

And Lord, as your word directs, I offer up this body to you. Thank you that you receive living sacrifices – that I can give you my body yet stay on this planet enjoying the beauty, the relationships, and the work you have given me to do. Keep me mindful of my sacrifice all day long as I make choices – where to walk, when to sleep, what to eat, what to drink, how to rest, rhythms and schedules – all of these I give to you today. Lead me, Lord, for you are my God.

Amen

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