Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Prayer at Congressman's Dinner

What would you pray if you had the opportunity to pray at an event for some of your elected officials?  Tonight, Congressman Aaron Schock graciously invited me to pray at the beginning of his fundraising dinner, with Speaker Boehner in attendance as well.  This is essentially what I prayed:

Heavenly Father,

I thank you for Representative Schock’s kind invitation to me this evening, to allow me the privilege of praying for my congressman, the man you have sovereignly placed in leadership over me, and to pray for Speaker Boehner, and to pray for our meal and our time together this evening.

Father, in your word, you tell us there are two loves that cannot coexist in our hearts--a love for the things of this world and a love for You. 

And so my prayer is first for those of us who are guests this evening. We confess that as individuals, we are sometimes motivated to engage in the political process by a love for the things of this world instead of a love for you. In this tent are people who have been entrusted with vast resources. Each of us here are wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of the majority of the billions of souls in this world. And, yet, our heart’s temptation is to be motivated to engage in the political process simply to gain more resources.  We love the things you have given us instead of loving you.

At times, we have distorted conservatism to mean that not only should government be limited but our own personal generosity should be limited as well. We pursue wealth and as individuals ignore the plight of the widow, the orphan, the poor and the foreigner.

Let us hold the material things you have given us loosely. Help us to participate in the democratic process not because we are angry or afraid of what others may do to us but instead because we have a desire for your honor and glory.

I also pray this evening for Speaker Boehner. I pray that he would not love the things of this world; that he would not seek after the approval and applause of men; that he would see even the Speaker’s gavel as a tool to be used instead of a prize to which to cling to whatever cost; that he would not crave the approval of influential or seductive voices within his party who have only their own good as a goal.

Instead, may he seek to pursue your desire for government. May he be your instrument to bring about a government that protects its citizens, rewards the one who does good and punishes the one who does evil. .

As I think about our country Father, I know of no greater atrocity than the evil of abortion. May Speaker Boehner lead the Republican party to do more than cynically play lip service to the protection of the unborn for pro-life votes. May Speaker Boehner unite pro-life Republicans and Democrats to promote the sanctity of life.

And finally this evening, I pray for Representative Schock. May he not love with the things of this world. Even as he prepares for the 2012 elections, let him see this congressional seat as yours and not His own. Let him not be in love with the approval of his party, his party’s leadership or even, Father, the approval of we his constituents. Let him be willing to do the hard things that are the right things even when we disagree with him. Protect him morally as he lives and works within a culture that loves power and prestige and the exaltation of self. Allow him to have the attitude of Christ Jesus, who humbled Himself even to death on a cross. Allow Aaron to serve in a spirit of humility and treat others as more important than himself.

And Father, because we cannot love both the things of this world and You, I pray that You would teach us how to love You. I pray that the gospel of your son Jesus Christ would be boldly proclaimed. I pray that men and women here and in our country would recognize their need for a savior, repent of their sins, and place their faith in your son Jesus Christ alone for their salvation.

In Jesus' Name I Pray,


Barb B. said...

Amen and Amen!

Grammy said...

Dear Daniel,
I agree, wholeheartedly. It is difficult not to want the things of this world and yet, we do. We too often put them first, and must ask forgiveness for doing so. Thank you for saying out loud what so many need to hear. I love you, Grandson.

Craig Hodges said...

Amen from me too! My fear of losing any of the worldly things I enjoy or my competitive desire for the victory of righteousness in the political process can eclipse Christ's words "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." I think your prayer was spot on - God will bless America when our leaders champion truth regardless of the cost in public approval/special interests and when our voters want the best for all (including the disenfranchised) more than their immediate gain. And we will see this kind of government someday - the government will rest on His shoulders.