Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pray for the nation...

I have some questions - the whole free will thing is a little confusing.  Does praying for the nation really help?  If our very own salvation is dependent on a personal relationship with Christ, is it possible to deliver others from evil with prayer when in fact they deny Christ?  If God grants all men free will, how can it be possible to turn a man from Satan if that is his choice?  Getting prayers answered is a tricky thing and it doesn't just happen automatically.  Several conditions must be met by even true believers in order to at least have their prayers heard...much less answered.  Do non believers "even have a prayer" when it comes to asking favors from God?  There is a lot in the bible about believers being given authority in Jesus' name to cast out demons.  That might work for the head spinning / soup spewing kind - but I am not so sure you can change a man's heart if it is against his will.  Does man have the power over others' free will when in fact God refrains from forcing the issue?

2 Chronicles 7:14  If (all) my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and (only then) will heal their land.


7 comments:

Gene Adcock said...

John, Really did enjoy your thoughts on Prayer written this evening. I have had simular thoughts about prayer and my relationship with Goc. It does seem that God expects us to do our own will and the positive thing that our will can guide us to to accept and live ours lives in acceptance of God's promises to us.

Maybe our prayer for others is to pray that they could see the promises God has for them. Then their will would likely change also.

Best to you, stay cool as possible in this weather we are having this Summer.

GA

Joseph Quigley said...

I believe that passage of scripture is referring to the "spiritual condition" of the believers in any nation is the pivot by which God blesses or curses that nation

Ronald Mahan said...

Genesis 18:20-33 teaches us about this subject. Abraham prayed to our Lord to spare Sodom & Gomorrah if 50 righteous people lived there. And the Lord agreed. In fact, the Lord further agreed to spare these wicked cities - if as few as 10 righteous people were found. GENESIS 19:1-29 - shows the Lord kept his word - and DESTROYED BOTH SODOM & GOMORRAH. But he did spare Abraham's son - LOT and family. But LOT'S wife lost her life - when she looked back - DISOBEYING THE LORD'S WORD - and was turned into a pillar of salt! We should try to obey our Lord's commandments, and trust in Jesus who died for our redemption from sin.

Margery Bills said...

Church of Christ doesn't believe in the Old Testament?

rj said...

“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR’s First Inaugural Address

The following Fear Mongering in the early Seventies that is somewhat reminiscent of some political discourse in 2016:
Link to article about 1974 End Times Predications of Jehovah's Witnesses

Fear Mongering
Awake October 8 1968 cover - Is It Later than you Think?

The Watchtower publications dwelt extensively on world conditions and how bad they were. Many secular quotes were provided to support that the world could not continue, specifically beyond 1975. For instance, the Awake! 1968 Oct 8 included the following quote on page 15;

"… U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson said in 1960: "I know enough of what is going on to assure you that, in 15 years from today [or, by 1975], this world is going to be too dangerous to live in."

"One of the greatest problems, beyond man's solving, is the coming food shortage due to the population explosion. In the book Famine-1975! food experts W. and P. Paddock state:

"By 1975 a disaster of unprecedented magnitude will face the world. Famines, greater than any in history, will ravage the undeveloped nations.”

"I forecast a specific date, 1975, when the new crisis will be upon us in all its awesome importance."

"By 1975 civil disorder, anarchy, military dictatorships, runaway inflation, transportation breakdowns and chaotic unrest will be the order of the day in many of the hungry nations.""

...Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end." Kingdom Ministry May 1974 p.3 How Are You Using Your Life?

"Today there is a great crowd of people who are confident that a destruction of even greater magnitude is now imminent. The evidence is that Jesus' prophecy will shortly have a major fulfillment, upon this entire system of things. This has been a major factor in influencing many couples to decide not to have children at this time." Awake! 1974 Nov 8 p.11

Witnesses stocked up on long life food, reminiscent of Mormon pantries. One of my friend's families hid items in the bush, including a cross bow so they could quietly hunt animals during Armageddon. Others went further; they cashed in superannuation plans, cancelled health insurance and sold their homes and bought caravans to live in. This created great problems for many families as they were totally unprepared for lives that would extend on for many decades.

Even external news sources understood the message that the Watchtower was indicating. The July 18th 1969 issue of Time contained an article "Witnessing the End" that stated;

"In fact, they fully expect the cataclysm of Armageddon within the next few years. The latest calculations of this energetic, eschatology-minded sect date the end of the world in autumn, 1975. Fearful as it may be to other religious believers, the end is a prospect that rejoices the hearts of the 323,688 U.S. members of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, as the Witnesses are..."

Ann Poucher said...

I pray for my country. It is drowning in chaos, violence and corruption. We are called to love our neighbor so I feel I am obligated to pray no matter what their condition. God can handle the rest.

John Wiley said...

John,

God is caught up with us in real time. (He put things in motion this way). He does not, as many people think, live in the future ahead of us. He is interacting with an untold number of free moral agents (human and angelic). God both reacts and responds with emotion and justice in real time. (just like we do, after all we are shadows of him).

People who have a small view of God think that he only gets what he wants, that only his will is done on the earth. If that small view were true why would Jesus say about prayer that we should ask for the Father’s will to be done? Jesus’ statement on prayer is made from the understanding that the Fathers will is in fact not always done on earth. However in the end of time he will get what He wants. Meaning, as it was in the beginning so shall it fully be in the end. Mankind’s understanding of love is evolving on the Earth. Love and Love’s Kingdom will win in the end. In the mean time the almost seemingly endless struggle of good and evil rolls on.

So, with all that said, prayer is not about getting enough people praying so that some how by our shear force we "send our power" in ever increasing numbers so as to convince God that we mean business and he should do something about our problem. I have found in my life (and in history) that one person in conversation with the Father can change the world.

Prayer for many people (though they can’t see it) is really more about whining and complaining to God. I know this to be true because for decades I have sat through countless prayer meetings for hours on end listing to people pray. I have found that most prayer is not spoken from a place of trust and peace but rather a place of fear. Then there are those who treat prayer like a spiritual lottery hoping that by praying enough they will get lucky and catch the break they are hoping for.

So what is prayer? Prayer is the motion of my life lived out in conversation with the Father. His life and my life lived out in real time. An interaction whereby I speak with Him about the things I see right here where I live. As I converse with Him about what I see often (but not every time) a power of understanding bigger than me rests upon my soul. Suddenly, I know what to do or what to expect will happen. I emphasize the word do. All prayer when sincere is followed through with specific action.

I have lived the most amazing life of supernatural supply as a result of what I am outlining. Many people have in fact changed the world around us through this kind of life of prayer/action. I have enjoyed the kind of supply that we read about in history books. I can say without hesitation that the world is tangibly different because the Father and I walked together while I was here. His Kingdom has increase and his will as been lived out here on the parts of the Earth were I have traversed. - John Wiley