The recent Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriages in all states was unwelcome to many. Reasons varied - the four justices who dissented spoke mainly of overreach and a threat to democracy. I am sure I am not the only Christian who worried ahead of time that a ruling like this against Biblical principles might bring rapid divine judgment upon us.
The fact that I felt after the decision, when I prayed about it, that the Holy Spirit said not to expect that, may not mean that much. Little time has passed. Nor do I have a flawless record in discerning the Spirit's leading. Something still could happen.
Any reassurance that we Christians seek has to come from Scripture. It has to be viewed in the light of all Scripture, the entire counsel of God. There are some passages, after all, which give little reassurance, such as [Matthew 24:9], where Jesus prophesied that men "will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake." Those days will come. Jesus said so. They may not be here yet. The dissenting justices' opinions and concurrences suggest that they might not be far off.
In [Luke 18], Jesus "spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart." It was the parable of the widow repeatedly bringing her case to the judge, "who did not fear God nor regard man," eventually winning, (as the judge in the parable said), "lest by her continual coming she weary me." Jesus followed the parable by saying that if repeated petitioning of this hard-hearted judge was effective, God's superior nature meant petitions to Him would be even more effective.
Many years after the Lord's resurrection and return to Heaven, Paul the apostle wrote to young Timothy, the pastor at Ephesus, that his first priority, as well as his parishioners', should be that "supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority..." [I Timothy 2:1-2]. Paul wrote that the purpose was "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." He wrote this to the Ephesian church's pastor in the wake of the uproar and violent demonstrations stirred up in their city by Demetrius the silversmith because his business making shrines for the enormously well-known cult of Diana seemed threatened by the rapid expansion of Christianity.
This was a big promise to make to people whose lives had been upended by this commotion. It is a big promise for us today and believing that it will work may come under what Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, that "the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
The Monthly Prayer Calendar, or "Schedule of Authorities," which I have maintained for some time now, is intended to help Christians carry out this exhortation of Paul's which he said he put "first of all." It combines this principle of prayer for persons in authority with the principle of making prayer as specific as possible. Many of us pray, some of us very diligently, for America as a whole, or for national leaders such as the President. How many of us target prayer, for example, towards specific governors, mayors, or even bureaucratic officials in the many departments of our federal, state, county, or municipal governments? Yet these are usually the people who make the decisions whether laws and regulations made by legislators are to be enforced and to what extent.
If this Supreme Court ruling is troubling to the four dissenting Justices themselves, we should hardly be blamed for not liking it either. Yet our efforts at prayer should only increase, including claiming the Scriptural promise in [I Timothy 2:1-2].
We should keep in mind that the Lord knows our hearts when we pray. Saccharine prayer is worth little. While Paul makes it clear we should pray for the welfare and spiritual salvation of individuals in authority, a heartfelt sincere prayer to "give some discernment to those five idiot liberals on the Court and bring them to salvation" is worth more than carefully-crafted polite phrases. If ever a situation required heartfelt, direct, honest prayer by God's people who are saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone, it is now.
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.