Wednesday, October 19, 2016

He Knelt In Protest - Will We Kneel In Prayer?

It's his right, but I think he's wrong. You have the right to burn the American flag, but I think it's wrong. The nation for which the Star Spangled Banner waves gives you the right to kneel, to even desecrate the emblem itself, and that's why I think it's wrong. When the flag is raised and the anthem played, I place my hand over my heart and I sing the song, not just because I'm an American but because God put me in a nation that has preserved these rights, the freedom of expression and religion. So, yes, I think he's wrong.

I am a patriot. The flag flies at my home 365 days a year, but I believe the only hope for our nation is not an increase in patriotism. So, don't lose your mind over this next statement, but what if Christians had knelt during the anthem? What if, given the grievous moral and spiritual condition of our nation, we all took a knee, bowed our heads, and cried out to God for deliverance and mercy as the emblem of our home was raised and praised? Our courts have outlawed our right to pray together in Jesus' name when we gather in the public square. We've been reduced to a "moment of silence." Some, in spiritual protest, still mouth the Lord's Prayer during those moments, but when the moment is over most of our prayer ends. What if it didn't end?

I'm not suggesting a mass, public protest of prayer. Though I would probably join it if it occurred. I'm suggesting that we may have been stirred up in the wrong direction. Rather than being stirred up over those who take a knee in protest, what if we were stirred up in prayer?  James 5:16 says "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." or in another translation "The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful."  While the Bible warns us against public prayer for the sake of being seen, and vain repetitious prayer for the sake of being heard, it never tells us to pray short, quiet, ineffective, milktoast kinds of prayers. The Bible encourages us to get worked up over the greatness of our God, worked up over the sinfulness of our own hearts, worked up over the desperate conditions we see around us and then worked up in prayer.

What's more serious; a football player kneeling during the National Anthem or the church failing to kneel in prayer? 

What's more powerful; a football player kneeling in protest, or the church kneeling in fervent prayer? I believe the only hope we have is in the humble, repentant prayers of God's people, crying out for God's mercy and forgiveness as they seek God's face. Our only hope is when we believe and obey God.

I'm writing this on a Wednesday. Calvary, it's time to pray, tonight at 6:00pm in the worship center.