The Bible instructs in Romans 13:1, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
This week the Lord gave us a special opportunity to encourage some of our national leaders and let them know that we, as a church as well as other Christians across the country, are praying for them even in this difficult time in our country.
A year or so ago I began to pray with a friend, Pastor Mike Creed from Clinton, Maryland, regarding his burden for our elected officials and their staff members in our nation’s capital. Brother Creed together with Evangelist Chuck Harding, formed an organization entitled Awake America and asked if I would serve on their advisory board. Over the last year they have been notifying pastors and asking them to pray earnestly for their elected officials.
A few days ago, we met for what was called the Capitol Connection. Hundreds of Christian leaders from autonomous Baptist churches across America joined us from forty-five states. We met for preaching and an organizational time on Monday evening. All of the pastors were reminded that our goal was not to “lobby” but to be a witness for Christ and an encouragement to those in leadership.
On Tuesday morning, we headed to Capitol Hill. The week prior to the visit every congressional member received a copy of the original Aitken Bible—the first American Bible printed in 1782. We let our elected officials know that we had sponsored the Bibles to their offices and that we believe American leaders need to rely, once again, on the Scriptures.
Terrie and I spent the first hour of our morning with Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy. Representative McCarthy has been thrust into a significant position of leadership during a difficult time in our country. He requested prayer for perseverance as he endeavors to serve God and the people of our district. Terrie and I appreciated his spirit, and we look forward to seeing him again in the future, perhaps at the Spiritual Leadership Conference.
Not only did we meet our congressman, but we also had time to distribute New Testaments and gospel tracts to staff members along the route. Later in the day we visited Congressman Buck McKeon and let him know that we appreciate his efforts to strengthen our defense industry in a time when many want to cut the budget for defense. In fact, sharing the waiting area with us as we waited to see Congressman McKeon was a four-star general as well as other leaders from the military. Pray that Congressman McKeon and others can do everything possible to keep our defense strong and our nation secure.
We also joined with Pastor Alan Fong, from Oakland, California, and made a visit to the office of Senator Boxer and Senator Feinstein. We let their staff know that—while we disagree with the positions often taken by these senators on moral issues such as gay marriage and abortion—we do pray for them as our leaders. We distributed New Testaments to some of their staff as well.
It was a blessing throughout the day to see Christians all over Capitol Hill letting their voices be heard, not for a political issue, but for the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. We met several elected officials and spoke briefly with them, including Senator Rand Paul, Senator Inhofe from Oklahoma, and Congressman Trent Franks from Arizona, who has stood strongly for Christian principles for a number of years.
Later in the afternoon many of the pastors met in the gold room of the Rayburn building where a number of elected officials thanked us for our time with them that day. After that meeting, we met on the Capitol steps, sang “God Bless America,” and had a word of prayer together.
The meeting concluded Tuesday night when I was privileged to preach the closing message of the first Capitol Connection meeting. I spoke from Jeremiah 17 and reminded the pastors of Jeremiah’s call to Judah to return to their heritage. The text from Jeremiah 17:5 reads: “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.”
Even as Jeremiah called to the children of Israel regarding the matter of their trust, we were reminded to keep our trust, not in man, but in the Lord. Jeremiah 17:7 tells us: “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.”
While we pray for and encourage our elected officials, we know that our ultimate hope is in the Lord. Please continue praying for America, and do pray for our elected officials today.