With all the noise around the country yesterday and today about health care (and no sign of it quieting any time soon) it is good to pause and pray. But regardless of your position on the new health care bill, how should Christians pray? Scotty Smith charted the gospel-centered course yesterday in his Heavenward blog. In case you missed it, I’ve taken the liberty of reposting it below.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. Revelation 22:1-3
Dear heavenly Father, I begin this day somewhat conflicted on the inside… most certainly, a good candidate for some fresh gospel-sanity. I’m very thankful to live in this country—the land where you’ve twice given me birth—in my mother’s womb and from above. I’m very thankful that the “governing authority” you’ve established here (Romans 13:1-3) contains a two-party system—a democracy, even if it’s a broken democracy, which allows for dialogue, debate and dissent. Selfishly, I’m very thankful I get to live in my America rather than the Apostle Paul’s Rome.
That being said, Father, I need you to center and settle me this morning. As a citizen of heaven (Phil 3:20) and this country, help me know how to live and to love to your glory, in the midst of the current chaos and clamor about health care in our country. Forgive me…when I look to the horses, chariots and men of Congress, more so than to courts of heaven for my perspective and peace. It’s not who’s occupying the Oval Office, but Who’s occupying the throne of grace that really matters.
Forgive me… when I spend more time being cynical and snide about government, rather than prayerful and engaged with the brokenhearted and the broken-bodied all around me. Health care is a good thing, a gospel thing. You are the Lord who heals (Exodus 15:26). By the wounds of your Son, Jesus, we are healed (Isa 53:5). You give gifts of healings, to and through your people (1 Cor. 12:9). A part of your kingdom agenda is the ultimate health care of the new heaven and new earth, when the leaves of the tree of life will provide healing for the nations (Rev. 22:2). Hasten that Day, Father, please, hasten that Day.
But until that Day, and in light of that Day, keep us thinking with gospel-sanity… loving with Jesus’ compassion… serving with grace-full humility… and hoping with kingdom vision. So very Amen, I pray… we pray… in the name of our reigning and merciful King, Jesus.