The power of prayer is greater than the power of opinion

Unless you've been living in a remote cave somewhere in Patagonia, then you are aware that there's a whole lot of stuff going on in America. The economy is still shaky, health care remains in critical condition, the NSA is all up in our business, and no one seems to know who is actually telling the truth anymore (as if we ever really knew in the first place). Scale this down to a local level and the problems seem to be magnified. For instance, in my great state of North Carolina our state legislators' decisions to underfund an educational system that is already lagging behind have left people on both sides of the political aisle shaking their heads in astonishment. What is going on here?

If you have internet access then you have been bombarded with countless opinions as to what is happening in America, both on a national and local level. Some insights are filled with facts and figures, yet most are knee jerk reactions to whatever sleight may be perceived. I, too, have been guilty of posting my displeasure on social media, although my public sentiments hardly reflect the vitriol of most that I have read. It's okay to have opinions about politics. After all, we the people are the ones who vote to put these men and women in office and when they do not represent our wishes then our voices need to be heard, right?

Here's the problem with that. If I bash our president or state representatives or other elected officials on Facebook or Twitter, what problems am I fixing with that approach? Sure, I can call their offices and let my voice be heard (and I often do that) but what good comes from a public lambast of a man or woman who will never in a million years read what has been posted about him or her? Believe me, if I was a politician then the arena of social media is the last place I would choose to hang out. I'm no glutton for punishment!

"But we need change in this country!" you say.

"If our voices are not heard, then nothing will be done!" you lament.

"Power to the people!" a group of radicals in the corner screams.  

Yes, we need change! Yes, our voices need to be heard! But by whom? Have we become so quick to share our opinions with others that we have forgotten who is truly in charge here?

Read these words from 1 Timothy 2:1-3 carefully:
First of all, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior.
First of all. This means that, before we air our concerns and opinions to the rest of the world about how lousy we believe our government is, we pray for our leaders. We lift them up to our sovereign God and we thank Him for giving us leaders to lead us.

This means that we believe the power of prayer is greater than the power of opinion.

This means that we choose to bow before God before we bend over our keyboards.

This means that we seek the wise counsel of God before we see how many "likes" we can get.

Why should we do this? First, it leads to godliness and dignity. There is nothing more undignified than seeing a professing Christian whose Facebook page that looks more like a hate mail forum for the president and other government leaders, especially when they mix in really great Scripture quotes between their anti-government rants. Second, praying for our leaders pleases God our Savior. This is our goal in life, to bring glory and honor to God. I'm pretty sure that a consistent stream of negative opinions about our elected officials doesn't do that.

Constantly berating public officials in the public forum gets old pretty quickly. For followers of Christ to constantly do so is just plain irresponsible and disobedient. Election times will soon come and you can cast your vote for all the change you want to see. In the meantime, spend more hours on your knees interceding for your leaders and less time online spewing irresponsible opinions.  

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