Currently, I’m listening to an audiobook entitled, The Good Life by Charles Colson. Colson worked in Richard Nixon’s White House and was charged with criminal activity related to the Watergate scandal. The event brought Colson face to face with his sin and led to his conversion. After prison, Colson began Prison Fellowship which seeks to introduce prisoners to faith in Jesus Christ.

Colson’s story is fascinating. According to his own testimony, he became enamored with the power and influence of the presidency. At the height of his political influence, his office was just a few doors down from the Oval Office. Colson’s dream of political influence was dashed by Watergate.

Political influence drives many. A few get to serve politicians or in the White House. Many more use local elections or their social media platforms to be heard. Have you ever wondered would it be like to have political influence?

As I was considering this subject, I was reminded that I have the daily privilege of entering the presence of the Ruler of the universe. Truly, there is only One with real influence. Kings, presidents, politicians, and political operatives seek power. But one day their power will wane, and like Richard Nixon, they will leave the scene of power. Yet, God remains.

God’s sovereign rule is glorious and establishes the overwhelming privilege of our prayer lives. Here is just a brief sample of verses to remind us this truth:

And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 

Nehemiah 1:5

“Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: 

Jeremiah 33:2

24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
    and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers were gathered together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

Acts 4:24-26 (quoting Psalm 2)

We could go on. The Bible is full of testimonies of God’s rule and reign. When God invites us to pray, he invites us to talk to him who has influence and all glory. For the believer, there is no greater influence than what we have with God.

Because God invites us to pray, he desires to work through us as his people to accomplish his eternal purposes.

  • I can’t change Washington or Raleigh.
  • I can’t stop pandemics or fix racial unrest.
  • I can’t convict sinners or cause repentance.
  • I can’t heal the sick or remove depression.

But I can pray, and so can you. We can pray about any and all of these things. God has a plan and purpose for what’s going on in our world and in your life. Prayer is our means to connect with God’s purposes. It is an opportunity to participate with God in his sovereign rule.

Will you accept this privilege?

Photo by Elijah Macleod on Unsplash

Francis Schaeffer recognized forty years ago that philosophy and theology follow art. Today, art comes in all forms. Rap songs that glorify sex and violence. Plays that depict the President being assasinated. A comedian holding a mock severed head of the President. Media and movies that stylize filth, debauchery, violence and murder. These are forms of “art” we are told. It is argued that “artists” and “comedians” are supposed to push boundaries, to cross lines, and to challenge comfort zones.

However it is frightening to consider these pieces of “art” might just be real. After all Picasso opined, “When we invented cubism, we had no intention of inventing cubism, but simply of expressing what was in us.”
Are these modern expressions of “art” mere self-expressions? If so, we are in deep trouble. Marcel Duchamps, another 20th century postmodern artist claimed, “It is the viewer that completes the artwork.” Could it be? Could it be that the politcal violence witnessed today with the shooting of a congressman, aides and police officers is the extension into real life of art?

Our only solution is real change. I don’t mean coming together for short moments of unity. But rather a geniune recognition that the deep seated problems with culture, art, politics, and individual citizens are all the same. We were created in God’s image, but have chosen to reject his right to rule us. We chose self, sin, violence, evil. We do not need togetherness. We do not need diligence. In our sinful condition that will ultimately lead to more diligent, unified sinfulness. We need the transforming power of Jesus Christ and his gospel to change us-to change our culture. It is high time we as Christians begin living, expressing, declaring in art, work, politics, philosophy and everyday life what is in us–Jesus Christ.