Thursday, February 18, 2016

The “Stand Firm” Prayer, the US Senate, and You

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. (Col 4:12)
We are often faced with situations where God calls on us to stand firm. (Exodus 14:13, 2 Chronicles 20:17, Ezekiel 13:5, Luke 21:19, 1 Corinthians 16:13, Ephesians 6:14, 2 Thessalonians 2:15)

In these cases, the key to victory is to not give in.  If you have been in a “stand firm” battle, you know that not giving in can be really difficult.  We are pulled by temptations.  We are pushed by pressures.  We are shot at by enemies.  We get tired in our flesh.

One of the keys to standing firm in such a battle is prayer.  We should pray for ourselves. But we also need brothers and sisters, like Epaphras, who will struggle in prayer on our behalf to help us stand firm.

The Republicans in the US Senate are in the Beginning of a Long “Stand Firm” Battle

Many court observers viewed the US Supreme Court as being split:  4 committed liberals, 4 committed conservatives, and a swing vote.  Now, consider what has happened even with this “split court”.  This court recently ruled that the US Constitution required every state and the federal government to allow sinful homosexual relationships to have the honored and protected status of marriage.

If this is what happens with a “split court”, what might we expect if there is a solid, radical liberal majority on the court?  Very likely there will be severe erosion of religious liberty and aggressive use of government coercion to promote abortion, homosexuality, pornography, and other evil.  There will probably also be a severe lack of enforcement of all types of laws when failing to enforce such laws helps the radical liberal agenda.

With the passing of Justice Scalia, we face a real danger of an even more radically liberal Supreme Court.  In fact, this is almost certain to happen if the US Senate approves an Obama appointee.  The Republican majority in the US Senate has the clear constitutional authority to block a nominee and in this case a clear moral obligation to do so.

The initial statements from the Republican members of the US Senate have been very encouraging.  But, we must realize that this is only the beginning of what will be a long battle.  There are 54 Republicans in the Senate.  They need 51 to block a nomination.  That means the enemy will be constantly seeking to find four weak links.  The fight will not be fair.  It will be ugly.  Any vulnerable Senator will be pulled and pushed and attacked by many forces. This will continue month after month.

Our prayers for US Senators can help them to “stand firm” in what will likely be a long, tough battle.

We need Senators with the heart of Gandalf, who declared to the evil balrog on the bridge of Khazad-dum, “You shall not pass!” 

A Wider Application

And while we are praying for Republican Senators, we should also be praying a similar prayer for each other.  Epaphras was praying for ordinary Christians like you and me to “stand firm”.  Every father trying to lead his family in righteousness, every pastor seeking to serve God’s people and grow God’s church, every neighbor seeking to share the love of Christ, and every brother and sister in Christ trying to get free from a sin habit, will face pressures to give in or give up.

So while you’re praying for the US Senate to “stand firm”, also pray for your pastors, missionaries, church members, teachers, and me.

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