Using the first official act of George Washington’s presidency on April 30, 1789, who led Congress in prayer, Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan requested a handful of pastors to join him in calling out to God, to help America. Since revival is the greatest need in our country today, I was overjoyed to participate and wonderfully surprised to hear the testimonies and prayers of over 40 Congressional leaders. In fact, there are more “Bible-believing Christians” (is there any other type?) in this 114th session of Congress than anytime since the administration of President Calvin Coolidge.
While we have never seen revival come through an elected official, revival does come through the elect – whether in Congress, the Capitol, or in the Church. God has promised that when “My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 HCSB
As one Congressman boldly stated, “The survival of our nation depends upon a move of God.” Inspired by a joint session of prayer between politicians at the highest level and pastors across America, I am specifically praying for revival in the American Church that influences the Capitol and changes the Country. Greater onus lies on the shoulders of the pastors and their Bibles than with our politicians and their bills. The weaker the pulpits, the worse the politicians. The silence of the pulpit creates ignorance in the pew, which sends the wrong people into power.
As my friend, Pastor Jordan Easley has said, however, “Pointing out the imperfections of the government allows us to point out the perfections of the Gospel.” God’s Word contains the standard and has the answer for every social issue we are facing (Human trafficking, Prison reform, minimum wage, national debt, health care, marriage, LGBTQ, foster care, immigration, punitive and restorative justice, marginalized citizens, and so on). When evangelicals squander our authority on one issue at the neglect of other moral issues, we inherit a justified silent influence on all moral issues.
We are blessed to live in a country where the government will not work without the involvement of the people. Now is the time to be bold and courageous in our prayer closets and in the voting booths. We must lift up the platforms and issues for the future of those not yet born and not just for the nostalgia of the past. (For an excellent resource, see Leith Anderson’s “Faith in the Voting Booth.“). We have an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power in our land. The verse from this year’s National Day of Prayer must become our mantra: “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.” (Isaiah 58:1a)