"Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
Brent Thompson. Patrick Zamarripa. Michael Krol. Michael Smith. Lorne Ahrens. These five police officers were targeted and killed in Dallas, TX, during a supposedly peaceful protest by a former private first class in the Army Reserve who had served in Afghanistan. All were spoken well of by their fellow officers, fellow citizens, and families. We need to continue praying for their families, and for the seven other officers and two civilians who were shot and wounded. May they all acquire a deeper trust and faith in the character of God and His Son, Jesus Christ - if they haven't had it before this, then to have it now would of course be deeper than before.
A lot of things are already being said, and are going to be said, by news commentators and by politicians and by private individuals of all persuasions. I want to repeat what I have said before: not expressing views on supporting the Second Amendment or controlling guns or other political issues does not mean I don't have them, or don't have convictions in general. The purpose of this website is not to be a platform for personal views. Its purpose is to promote the fulfillment of what the Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to write to Timothy in [I Timothy 2] and the Scriptural promise attached to it:
Think about the church to which Paul was expressing this urgent instruction to pray and the atmosphere in which they heard it read by their young pastor, Timotheus: not long before, their city of Ephesus had been shaken by violent riots stirred up by a silversmith named Demetrius simply because the well-publicized miracles Paul had done, and the growth of their Christian faith, threatened his lucrative business of making shrines for worship of Diana (or Artemis). A promise of increasing their ability to lead a "quiet and peaceable life" while continuing to practice their faith got their full attention, I am sure. In the wake of the violence by this one man in Dallas, (fortunately not by the protestors), it should get ours, also.
When I urge you to follow this website's idea of pursuing Paul's admonition to pray in an organized, structured fashion, I am not trying to lay any spiritual obligation on people. I am not trying to create a big complicated burden. I know that we all have our days when our prayers are preoccupied with our own needs or those of our families. We have days when our thoughts are preoccupied and we don't pray at all. The idea is to keep at it, as individuals, and to spread and to share the idea so that statistically someone is praying for somebody all the time. The more we keep at it and the more we promote it, the more prayer will be sheltering our police officers, or convicting or encouraging our elected officials.
Our attitude towards the persons we pray for will also be affected. I do not discount the ability of our prayers to affect those we pray for. I also believe that as we increase how often we seek the throne of God to present these prayers, we will be more affected and changed by the Holy Spirit ourselves. All of this works together to change individuals and thereby affect society whether we see it happening in our immediate area, or in our short-term time frame, or not. Scripture describes Jesus Christ as the One through whom and for whom the entire universe was created. "And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist." [Colossians 1:17] The One who created and holds together the intricate atoms and molecules and all the things they make up, is quite capable of accomplishing more than one thing at a time. If He can keep track of everything in our world (and beyond) from the largest to the most microscopic level, is social complexity any problem for Him? He was able to deal with the hearts and the minds of men and women in Paul's day and he can in ours. He was able to deal with the conflict of Jews and Romans and Greeks as the Gospel uprooted and challenged the ideas they grew up with and thought essential to civilized living, and He can deal with our times, too. But He tells us to pray.
The Founding Fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence that they held certain truths to be self-evident, and the world is still listening to those words. We as Christians hold certain truths to be timeless and eternal because they are from our God who is timeless and eternal Himself. Living by Scriptural truth - including Paul's admonition to pray for all men including, but not limited, to those in authority - shows that we pay attention to it. There are too many people today who are filled with the idea that what is old is bad, that "old-fashioned" means "backwards." The idea that some things are timeless and eternal is strange to them. They need to see that these ideas are still alive in us.
We don't always know which of them may turn to us and ask - not necessarily in a friendly or polite way - why we do this. Even if we are not aggressive in sharing our faith, we are told, "always be ready to give an account of the hope which is in you." Different people respond to different things in different ways. God has a reason for putting each of us in the environment we are in, with our neighbors and co-workers that we each have. The amazing thing is that He wants to work through us to achieve His ends. One thing I have learned in my years as a Christian is that sometimes the Holy Spirit does His best work when I'm not watching closely.
We need to show our confidence that by quietly (not meaning silently) living for Christ, we can frustrate the Devil.
A Christian man living in Southeastern Pennsylvania, USA. Came under conviction in 1978 or 1979 to begin believing the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Came to saving faith in Christ in October 1982 by confessing I was a sinner by nature and only Christ could save me.