Articles

Prayer is a Political Act

In Perspective on September 10, 2012 by The Spillover

Erik Raymond:

We are in the thick of an election season here in the US and that means emotions are running high. People’s emotions run high for a variety of reasons with one root reason: we have a worldview that forms a response. However, too often we as Christians forget that our best and arguably our first response should be prayer.

Consider Daniel in Babylon. Darius essentially declared himself to be god and imposed the death penalty on all who did not show loyalty.

What did Daniel do? How did he respond? Exactly the way he was supposed to.

I appreciated how Christopher Wright approached this in his book The Mission of God’s People:

States like to posture as the sole source of all benefit to their citizens and to demand in return an ultimate loyalty. We may not quite deify our kings or presidents, but we easily turn patriotism into a creed and alleged lack of it into a heresy.

But what did Daniel do, faced with this demand to acknowledge no god but the king he was otherwise serving so efficiently? He subverted it. He went on praying to the one whom he knew to be the only living God.

Prayer is to say, ‘There is a higher throne.’ Prayer appeals to a higher authority. Prayer is, in short, a political act. It affirms that all human political power is subordinate not ultimate, relative not absolute–to be obeyed so long as it is consistent with obedience to the living God… –Christopher Wright, The Mission of God’s People, pp. 256-7.

If we are truly worked up emotionally and truly want to see change then prayer is the biblical precedent and prescription (1 Tim. 2.1-8).

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