Around this time of the year, especially in an election year, everyone begins to become so politically fueled and focused that we can't help but hear "prophecies" all over about the future of America, the future of our world, the future of our children and the next generations. The jaded believe these conversations in our democracy are akin to hanging out with your friends on Hollywood Blvd., drinking 15 cups of coffee, and chatting about who is going to win the Academy Awards.
But I have a different perspective. I try not to "talk" politics, I try to vote with my actions. I don't want to prophesy erroneously; I'd like to pray powerfully, as Paul says in one of his letters to Timothy, "for all men, all who are in authority." And, new for our nation this year, all women, as well. That's some progress to be grateful for.
So as the three "spotlight" candidates for president have traveled to and fro across my great state of California, I took it upon myself to pray for them all. And I wanted to share a few things that came to me that have helped me to stay calm, peaceable, and reverent (I Timothy 2: 3) regardless of the lowest common denominator of media sludge and drudge spewing itself through my television, email, or social media.
I found a recent Facebook post catching because of its total degrading commentary on these three candidates: "One is a rich guy who hates Mexicans; another is a rich woman who lies; and the third is a poor guy who would throw us in the Gulag."
That's a pretty sad picture. But then I took it to the Word of God. And this is what the prophet Isaiah showed me; "For the Lord is a judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is He who will save us" (Isaiah 33:22). Now, the Word of God is a powerful preacher. And this passage reminds us that the three branches of American democracy are built on God - not on men. I happened to glance at a one dollar bill I had recently and I was hit with an overwhelming since of gratitude for the words "In God We Trust" still prominently displayed on every single piece of currency we spend on a daily basis - every dollar is a kind of prayer.
But who is God? How do we know what God is? A lot of Americans are asking that question these days. What am I really praying to and trusting in? Like those who founded this nation and constructed its Constitution, I turn to my Bible for answers to that question. And the Bible teaches that God is most clearly found through the life of a Jewish man named Jesus who was the Christ.
I have noticed that when I read pray and fast, activities recommended by Jesus in order to heal major problems, I have a greater clarity around political, economic, and social issues that I see in the news. In fact, when I am really clear it is almost like as soon as I check the news that whatever it is I have been praying about is being featured with some miraculous progress, some amazing breakthrough in solving the crisis, some unexplainable relief in whatever had been blocking the light. Why?
Because, my dear friends, as Jesus says, we are the light of the world. Those who follow the non-violent, peaceful, and loving teachings of Jesus are the light and salt of America. We can't get riled up in politics; we're not meant to speculate in worldly coliseum matches. We are meant to pray. We are meant to pray our Lord's prayer and declare, sometimes shouting it from the rooftops when the opposite voice is loudest, "Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!" A long, long time ago, our forefathers in the faith were grotesque entertainment and lion snacks in those coliseums. Lest we forget, brothers and sisters. Lest we forget.
So, we have established that our prayers are powerful and can change the outcomes of massive world issues, including political elections. And I sympathize with the fact that in America it is harder to take 10 minutes to pray about these issues than perhaps any other nation on the face of the earth because we are so over-stimulated, over-saturated, with "food for thought" and drugs for numbness.
But in my 10 minutes of prayer this morning this is what came through to me. When I stare at these three main candidates I can see, like Jacob saw in Esau, "the face of God" (Genesis 32: 30). And here is the beautiful thing, I really can see them like God sees them!
Donald Trump is a child of Love. He is a cuddly, sweet, adoring and adorable, child of the most high God who we know is Love! (I John 4: 8) Donald Trump is asking for love, he's reaching for love, he's daring you to love him. Will you love him? Not worship him or exalt him, but love and pray for him. This is our high calling and it wins us not a earthly crown of political favor, but one of heavenly riches.
Hillary Clinton is a representative of Truth (John 14: 6). Jesus is the truth and Jesus sat with the Pharisees and the publicans and worked out major issues through the wisdom given to him by his Father. God sees this woman (and her husband!) as stewards of Truth and it doesn't matter how they have screwed it up and fallen short of the glory of god. Truth is being made manifest through our elected representatives and I will stand for the side of Christ and see them that way! When our elected representatives take an oath of office they solemnly swear to support the Constitution, to telling the truth, to bear true faith and allegiance, and not to evade their duties (Oath for Congress, 1884). When speaking in court they swear they will "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God." This woman has been an elected representative almost her entire life and I will see past the hatred and ignorance and slander and I will see the Truth in her and her husband because they are elected officials of our nation and our divinely authorized system of government.
And, lastly, dear "feel the Bern" Sanders. This man is actually one of the easiest to see the godliness in. Now, in the flesh he is 74 years old. He is older than any other candidate running. But my goodness does this man express energy, vitality, composition, and passion! Most people his age have retired to a golf resort in Florida somewhere, but this man is traveling all over the nation and hooping and hollering about social issues. When Jesus said he's not just the way, the truth, but "the life" (John 14:6). Jesus walked all over Israel and Samaria visiting with prostitutes and street urchins. Bernie Sanders has been doing something quite similar. He has awesome rock and hip-hop concerts preceding his rallies filled with thousands of people who are more than half his age. That's life!
This last weekend I was invited to attend an event called "The Rally" in Hollywood. It was amazing. Prophetic dance, spiritual rap, art based on Scripture, workshops, classes, etc. It was awesome.
And as I was praying for someone in the lobby the words "Rally" jumped out at me. I wasn't at a political rally, I was at a heavenly rally! I was fellowshipping with others who have put their hope in life, truth and love and who trust that no policy or protocol on this planet can separate us from any of these things.
The definition of rally means "to bring together again; to recover or cause to recover in health, spirits or poise; to ally." And our worship, our praise, our prayer for those in authority and our enemies, are are aspects of a constant rallying for the kingdom of God to come to earth. This doesn't mean we should not exercise the stupendous freedom of voting that has been given to us through the sacrifices of Americans through the ages; no, not at all, but those votes should spring from our prayer lives and our spiritual clarity about these issues. Then the earthly results will be manifestations of our heavenly focus.
So, my fellow Americans, turn your eyes upward and hear these wonderful words of a woman worshiper from the 19th century who had no political right to vote her entire life which forced her to petition and commune with a heavenly government, instead of an earthly government, for all her grievances, including losing her child, court cases involving slander, libel, and terrorist threats on her life,
"Mourner, it calls you, - 'Come to my bosom, Love wipes your tears all away'...Strongest deliverer, friend of the friendless, Life of all being divine: Thou the Christ and not the creed; Thou the Truth in thought and deed; Thou the water, the bread, and the wine" (Communion Hymn, Mary Baker Eddy).
This is the true way to make America great again.