By Dr. Mark Creech
Christian Action League
May 12, 2014
The great Samuel Chadwick once said, “One concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying.” There is no greater Christian work than the labor of prayer. J.H. Jowett contended that he had rather teach one man to pray than ten to preach. Jesus admonished us to always pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). Dr. Jerry Vines has said, “Prayer brings the resources of heaven into every situation to bear upon every problem.”
There are so many wonderful principles about prayer in the text above, James 5:16-18. In short, the passage says that prayer should involve the confession of our sins. Sometimes this involves acknowledgment of our “faults” to each other, asking one another for forgiveness when we’ve wronged a brother or a sister. Then we are to pray for one another. In other words, where there is confession and intercession there can be divine intervention – miracles can happen. Fervent prayer isn’t simply saying a prayer, it’s praying with heart, praying in faith, and really believing the God of heaven not only hears, but answers.
Elijah, the Bible says, prayed this way. We should consider the results. He demonstrated that the prayers of an ordinary person can accomplish extraordinary things. His prayer humbled the ruler of his day, defeated the devil, and revived an entire nation.
With these principles of prayer in mind, I want to issue a call to prayer today about a very critical matter facing our nation and the state of North Carolina.
In 2006, our neighbors in Virginia approved a constitutional amendment to protect marriage as one man and one woman. But in February of this year a federal judge in that state ruled against the state’s marriage amendment, which had been approved by 57% of the voters. To compound the injustice, Virginia’s Attorney General, Mark Herring, has not only refused to defend in court the will of the people on this matter, but he has joined the plaintiffs in attacking Virginia’s marriage amendment.
The case, which was appealed, is set to come before a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today (Tuesday, May 13). The court’s jurisdiction covers not only the state of Virginia, but Maryland, West Virginia, and the Carolinas. If the Court determines that Virginia’s amendment to protect marriage should not stand, then legal experts say amendments like our own in North Carolina will fall soon thereafter.
I urge you to make this a matter of personal and concerted prayer. I urge you to fervently pray regularly in faith. Being an Obama-packed court, the odds are certainly stacked against a favorable ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, the Bible encourages us: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:21).
Even when everything appears dismal, there is still the Lord. He reigns sovereign over the earth. Moreover, if the prayer of a righteous person like Elijah can be effective in controlling something like the weather, certainly it can be effective when we pray for something totally consistent with God’s will like the protection of his first institution, marriage.
Is there anything too hard for God? Certainly not!
Here are a few suggestions about what to pray for:
- Pray for God’s blessing of wisdom and power on those who seek to defend marriage. Conservative groups like Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Counsel, concerned Women for America, and others will be urging the court to stand on the right side and with the will of the people. Pray that God will show them grace to marvelously and effectively articulate the case for natural marriage.
- Pray that God will have in derision (Psalm 2:4), those working against traditional marriage, those working to knock down Virginia’s constitutional amendment that protects the sacred institution. Pray God will confuse them and cause them to stumble in making their wicked arguments – arguments that work against human flourishing and in favor of spiritual death.
- Pray that God will give divine wisdom to the three-judge panel that will hear the case. Pray that God will turn their hearts to what is godly and true. Pray that they will rule to uphold what God commands. Pray that they will condemn what God condemns.
- Pray that those defending marriage would also have all the resources they need to effectively make their case.
- Pray that whatever the court rules God will enable his people to continue to stand and not be deceived by this great delusion our day.
- Pray that Christians would live out a righteous sexual ethic in their own lives.
- Pray that followers of Christ will continue to stand-up for the truth, no matter the outcomes or the costs.
Much is at stake. Much prayer is needed. I urge you to join this call to prayer, as well as pass it along for others to pray, especially your pastor and your church.
Finally, the North Carolina General Assembly will reconvene for the Short Session tomorrow, Wednesday, at noon. Please pray for our state’s lawmakers and Governor. I also ask that you remember me in your prayers, as I seek to represent your Christian values in the State Legislative Building’s halls of power.
More good things are wrought by prayer than we could ever imagine. Let’s join together in believing. I hope you will start praying with me about these matters today.