Praying To Nobody

Several months ago, our local newspaper (www.jdnews.com) ran an article about the community of North Topsail Beach.  Apparently, at some point last year, prayer to open the town meetings was canceled.  But, a few alderman began to reconsider this PC decision.  So far, so good . . . until you see what they actually adopted.

You see, rather than allow clergy or board members to open their meetings in prayer as they were led of the Lord and their conscience (the American Way), the alderman and Mayor opted to adopt a “scripted” prayer.  Its theology is rich and its significance deep.  I hope you are sitting down as you read this stunning, powerful, poetic prayer:

“Bless this town, and may it remain a beautiful and friendly place to live.  We pray that this board makes fair and informed decisions tonight.  We also pray that our police officers, firefighters and members of our armed services, here and around the world, remain safe as they risk so much for our security.  We also pray that our town be spared the ravages of hurricanes and other natural disasters, and that everyone associated with the town remain safe and secure.”

Now isn’t this a nice, quaint, very American little prayer?  Who could possibly be offended by this prayer?

THE ONE TRUE GOD – THAT’S WHO! 

I would like to ask the citizens of North Topsail Beach if this is what they want in their leaders.  To whom are they praying?  The word “god” is not even mentioned, much less the title “God” or “Lord” or “Heavenly Father.” 

Go back and take note of how often the words “safe” and “secure” are used.  This is what matters to Americans most today – that we get to keep our quaint, risk-free little lives with our picket fences

Interesting, too, that they pray to be spared from hurricanes and natural disasters.  They had better be praying to a BIG GOD if they expect that request to be honored.  Yet, they do not even so much as hint that they have any god in particular in mind.  I guess just whatever god comes to their resuce and ensures their peace, tranquility, and supports their ongoing comfortable lifestyles will do. 

THEY ARE PRAYING TO NOBODY IN PARTICULAR!  THEY ARE MAKING SPECIFIC REQUESTS TO AN UNKNOWN, UNNAMED “SOURCE.”  (Acts 17 comes to mind, doesn’t it?) 

Most ironically, they pray to make “fair and informed decisions.”  Yet, the decision to adopt this mamby-pamby prayer is the most ill-informed and unfair thing this board has done in a long time. 

It is precisely this kind of thinking that has this nation under God’s holy wrath.  It is precisely this kind of religious pandering that ensures ongoing “natural disasters,” which are only the tip of the iceberg, friends.  I have become convinced that Almighty God, who has blessed America with so much access to His Word (the Bible) and His gospel (which is about His Son Jesus dying for our sins and rising again), is bringing this ungrateful, spoiled-rotten nation to her knees.  So-called “prayers” like this one will only make matters worse.

Don’t believe God can or will take America down?  Go spend some time with King Nebuchadnezzar of ancient Babylon (Daniel 4).  Do you see him there in that cow pasture eating grass?  And when did he get relief?

At the end of the days, I,  Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven and my reason returned to me and I blessed the Most High God, and praised and honored Him who lives forever” (v. 34).

That’s a good lesson for North Topsail Beach, and Jacksonville, and North Carolina, and America.  And I believe God will do whatever it takes to remind us of this truth – “for His dominion is an everlasting dominion.”

God forgive us, for the sake of Your Holy Son Jesus, please forgive us.  Amen.

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