Sunday, July 7, 2013

Part 2 - How God Pulls the Bait and Switch On Us

Yesterday I told you a story about my first experience with God's version of the 'Bait & Switch' system of changing our hearts towards those around us. Back in the 6th grade I learned an important lesson on praying for someone I did not like. 

Today I come to you and ask you to consider a new way of discussing and posting items about our President, Barack Obama. This morning I had a tough time finding a picture of him that was not captioned or cartooned with rude or crude insults. 



The inspiration for this post comes from my heartbreak and shock at seeing Christians/believers clicking a big old "LIKE" on so many of these negative posts and pictures. 

This is one of the more "mild" negative pics I have seen.

We know that we are supposed to be praying for our leaders right? The Bible talks a lot about praying for our teachers, bosses and kings. Agreeing with the beliefs and policies of the leader was not a requirement.

My question is; do you really think that it is OK to click a LIKE on crude items with one hand while raising the other hand in prayer for the same person?

I know that when we honestly pray for someone; our hearts and minds are changed towards them. There is a big difference between praying for someone and praying about someone. The sound and tone are completely different.

When you pray about a person, you are telling God what to do to them and what he should make them do. There was a joke t-shirt online a few years ago that had a picture of praying hands and the words, "Praying for Obama - Psalm 109:8" ...that passage reads, "Let his days be few and let another take his place." The following verse says "Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow."  (http://gawker.com/5407568/christian-conservatives-praying-for-god-to-kill-obama) 

When you pray for a person, you will be bringing them before God's attention and asking Him to help them, bless them and reveal Himself to them. 

When we pray for someone we find ourselves seeing them through the eyes of God. And God loves President Obama. Whether you like that or not, He does. If you feel like this president is your enemy, you are still not off the hook to pray for him. (Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those ...

When you are praying for someone, you are agreeing with what The Father wants for them. You are asking Him for His thoughts regarding that political official. It may be completely the opposite of our idea for that man or woman. The "bait & switch" happens when we begin to see a change in our feelings and thoughts toward that leader. We are beginning to allow God's thoughts to be our thoughts! And His thoughts are always for the good towards His creation.

God is sneaky that way.

I do not jump into controversial political discussions in person or online. But when I see the way some of my fellow believers are treating our President, it hurts me and confuses me. I find it hard to believe that the same people who post this stuff can honestly be praying for our leadership. The two do not go together. 

As I did some research on praying for our president, I came across this from Max Lucado. He suggests 4 simple prayers for President Obama and his family. From "How to pray for Barack Obama"
  1. Protection over his family - John 17:15
  2. Wisdom - James 1:5
  3. Reverence - Psalm 111:10
  4. Strength - Hebrews 13:20
Use these four requests to begin changing the way you pray for our leader. Do you believe we can alter our country's direction if we alter our own prayers for it? Why not?


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25 comments:

  1. I will try to comment again. The first time disappeared. Thank you for this reminder. I am not always good at remembering this, and it is true and important. This was an excellent post. I hope it doesn't disappear again!

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    1. Whew! What a day trying to get this done! I kept losing it and could not just walk away because i already promised a part 2! Remind me not to do that again! Ha!

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  2. Perfect! Who would have thought that encouraging Christians to pray for the president would require courage in America. I'm behind you on this one! Great message! Keep writing.

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  3. Amen and Hallelujah! Seriously, Susie, this is so dead-on that I wanted to dance in my living room as I read it. Gospel living, gospel praying--that's what you're on to here. How easily we Christians mess it up. Holy-Spirit inspired, for sure. Thank you, thank Him.

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    1. Ha! You are so very encouraging! I love the blogging/writing community so much!

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  4. Hey, can I post a link to this on my blog?

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  5. Even though I am a New Zealand resident, I have to say that I did a lot of praying about the election, as I know many other Christians did--praying that God's Will would be done. As far as I'm concerned, according to Romans 13:1, He put Obama into power. Of course, kids don't always like the parents' choices, but, as you say--the more you pray for someone, the more your attitude toward them is changed.

    And, then again, the more you know about the end times, the more you realize some of these things must happen. This post puts it in very easy-to-understand terms

    http://bettysnzblog.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/the-end-is-near.html

    The world is really messed up and our only true Hope is God.

    You did a great job on this post.

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  6. A beautiful post Suzie. I too get confused with the treatment of leaders who need as much positive energy sent their way as possible. I don't know a lot about American politics but we have issues with disrespect of our leaders here as well. I will look at my bible tonight and read the suggested pieces. This post has me thinking, thank you for that. xx

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    1. Thanks Lisa. I do not know why anyone would WANT to be a political leader, honestly. People are so brutal to any authority that they spend all their time defending themselves rather than making the great changes that are needed.

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  7. Good for you for taking this stand. I actually avoid any political references on Facebook or any other social media. Honestly, I just think it's a way to be self-righteous and alienate people, no matter where they stand. I also completely agree that we should be supporting who is in the lead. If we believe God is in control then it must follow He is also in control of who is president and in charge.

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    1. Praying for our leaders is a win/win if it is done with sincerity and honesty. It keeps our hearts from becoming bitter and angry and it blesses the one we are praying for.

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  8. What a great post. It is so true that even in prayer we want to take charge sometimes...I'll pray that "you change that person to look more like me." How ridiculous.

    You were quite a wake-up call for me today, my dear.

    Happy Monday!
    Ceil

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    1. Oh man, it is SO easy to fall into that trap! That's why little prayer helps such as the one here by Max Lucado can keep us on the right track.

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  9. And once again Susie knocks one out if the ball park.

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    1. Thank you Byron! Every once in a while a bee gets in my bonnet and will not let me sleep until it is released! Ha!

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  10. Just came here to say I agree with you. The Psalm 109:8 "joke" is horrible...seriously, people?? Imagine if he read that. Imagine if you read that about yourself. Or...imagine that you said or did something you knew would upset a group of people, but their response was to pray for peace for you and your family and for you to know God loves you. What a difference. Kindness turns a heart in a moment. Kindness cuts anger off and turns fear on its head. Trust in the Lord, pray for others. Who is in charge here anyway? "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Psalm 19:21

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