A Tale Of Two Prayers
“If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14).
While I want to guard against any notion of name-it-claim-it theology, and I renounce any doctrine that says we can manipulate God Almighty by our prayers, I do think two prayers said recently in Legislative Chambers speak volumes about the division in our Nation. There really are two visions for the United States of America now. The split is clearer by the day. One of those visions, I contend, is much more in line with the original vision of the Nation’s Founders, as well as the principles of God’s Word. The other, well, take a listen to this prayer:
Now, contrast Emanuel Cleaver’s prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives with that of Pastor Steve Weaver (Farmdale Baptist Church, Frankfort, KY) who offered the following invocation at the General Assembly in the Commonwealth of Kentucky recently:
Our Great God,
We bow before you today on a day in which we should all be humbled before you. This past year has revealed to us how frail we are as humans—in our Commonwealth, our nation, and our world. A microscopic virus cell 3.5 trillionth of an inch in diameter has crippled the economies of the world and disrupted our way of life in so many ways. But even as the hymn writer confessed that we are “frail children of dust and feeble as frail,” he continued with “In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail.”
And so we come to You, the Creator of all things. You alone are the God who made the heavens and the earth. And we come to You, the Controller of all things. Nothing is outside of your sovereign control and care. We come to You, the Conqueror of all things.
We pray to you recognizing that you are in control over all things. There is not one maverick molecule in the universe. All planets, stars, comets, molecules, microbes, and viruses are under your sovereign control. You work all things after the counsel of your will. None can stay your hand or say what doest thou.
We acknowledge that not only are you sovereign, but you are a loving father over creation, and especially to those who know You. Not one bird can fall from the sky or one hair from our head without you knowing and caring. You knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. You know our bodies better than we know our bodies. You know disease better than doctors know disease and, ultimately, we rest in your loving, sovereign care.
We also thank you that you have given us as human beings the ability to understand disease and infection and how it spreads. Thank you for the medical community that has worked so hard to inform us, advise us, offer treatment, and develop a vaccine to combat COVID-19. Thank you also for civil government which was established by you to protect its citizens. Thank you for Governor Beshear and his leadership during these difficult days. Please give him wisdom and strength as he continues to lead. Thank you for the Kentucky General Assembly as they now convene to fulfill their responsibilities.
Give them wisdom and strength also as they make important decisions balancing concern both for our state’s economy and the financial and physical welfare of our citizens. Most of all we pray for a spirit of wisdom, reasonableness, and cooperation between the House and Senate, between Republicans and Democrats, and between the Legislative and Executive branch in order that all the citizens of this state are served in the best possible manner.
We pray for health and strength for these legislators, their family, and the staff that supports them. Please be with this body this session as they conduct the business of this Commonwealth. Give them peace as many of them are separated from their families and homes in this time of uncertainty. Give each of them your peace that surpasses human understanding.
Most of all we thank you for your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came into this world of sickness and sin as an expression of your sovereign plan and fatherly love of this world. Thank you that by His sinless life, substitutionary death, and victorious resurrection, He conquered the grave, defeated death, took away death’s sting and, in the words of the author of Hebrews, delivered all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery! May all who hear these words know peace and comfort in the grace and mercy through faith in the Lord Jesus.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen!