3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.
4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. 8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets.
As we read this prayer of Daniel it is not difficult to believe he very easily could have been petitioning God for us today. Our nation is divided and we are rapidly drifting away from God. The Lord who has so richly blessed us.
There is a superabundance of radio and television news talk programs ready to provide a platform for politicians and pundits prepared to share their allocutions with an attentive audience. It’s easy to get caught up in one agenda or another. If we’re not careful we can work ourselves into a frenzy thinking about all the issues. We are sometimes baffled at the opposing ideology, wondering how in the world they can actually believe what they are saying. It seems we are split down the middle on just about every political issue from economics, education, energy and the environment to immigration, intelligent design, taxes, term limits, terrorism, and the war on drugs. And we certainly cannot forget the ever-present health care debate.
Neither the right nor the left is without its faults. Each side has members who sincerely believe their own rhetoric. Each side also includes individuals who simply play politics. Those who are drunk on their own power.
As Christians, we must seek God’s wisdom in choosing the candidates and issues that we will support. We have a responsibility to support people and issues based on the wisdom God has revealed in His Word and that He has impressed upon our hearts.
Isaiah 60:12 (NIV) For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined.
Participating in the political process is important. It is not, however, the most important thing we have to do. We need to intercede for America just as Daniel did for the nation of Israel. Voting a particular party into office will never solve all the problems we face. Imagine, for a moment, what would happen if all the believers in this country remained on our knees lifting our nation in unified prayer. ‘Change’ begins in each individual’s heart. Real and effective transformation begins with Jesus.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV) I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority,that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.