“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” (Romans 13:11)
Praying for our political leaders so that our society will remain open to the public proclamation of the gospel may seem unnecessary to some Christians in America today. They take it for granted that our Constitution guarantees us the right to publicly practice and proclaim our faith. Why then should we bother praying to our Heavenly Father for something already guaranteed us by our Founding Fathers?
Well, just in case you haven’t noticed, strange things are currently abreast in America—things which our Founding Fathers would have never believed. Our Constitution is being reinterpreted by today’s courts and politicians to say things that our Founding Fathers never imagined, much less intended. For instance, the First Amendment, which prohibits our government from interfering with the free exercise of religion, has now been reinterpreted to mean that religious people cannot be involved in government, unless they promise beforehand to disavow their religious beliefs and convictions during the duration of their government service.
Even more bizarre than the above is the fact that our government, which was founded on an acknowledgement of God, is now being prohibited by its own courts from acknowledging God. Despite the fact that our whole system of government is predicated upon the principle that we were all created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, any acknowledgement of such by our government today is deemed by its courts unconstitutional. Furthermore, any semblance of the Christian faith on government property, such as prayer in our public schools, a copy of the Ten Commandments on a courthouse wall, or a Nativity scene in the town square, is also forbidden by the Constitution’s current black-robed re-interpreters.
When you add to all of this, the ever-increasing denunciations of Christians as bigots for opposing things like same-sex marriage, along with our current president’s stated belief that the only religion acceptable in a democracy is one that is offensive to no faith and compatible with all faiths, you’ll be forced to conclude that it is no longer far-fetched to foresee a day in America when the public proclamation of the gospel will be outlawed. Although such a thing was once unimaginable in these United States, it is now certainly plausible and possibly looming.
In the past, we may have considered praying for those in authority to be of minor importance, since we took for granted our right to publicly practice and proclaim our Christian faith. Unfortunately, we are now learning the fallacy of our past naiveté. Far from being of minor importance, our prayers for America to remain free and open to the public proclamation of the gospel are currently some of the most crucial prayers we can pray. Failing to pray for the leaders of our nation may soon translate into us losing our freedom to preach to the lost of our land.
Pray that the church in America will “awake out of [its] sleep” to its present precarious position, which will result in our praying and preaching with unprecedented urgency.