In light of Pastor David Platt’s apology for praying for the president in the Washington Times, I’m re-releasing this op-ed with a few additions.
I was shocked to see an apology from pastor Platt to his congregation. Granted, I don’t have all of the information, nor do I understand all of the dynamics that took place. But, in most cases, we do not need to apologize for praying for our leaders. We are commanded to do so, and we should answer our critics; read more here.
Over the last few decades, Americans have seen the destruction of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, the removal of God’s Word in several areas, and the blatant murdering of millions of babies. This is an indictment against America and the pulpit is partially responsible—our silence, and our apologies, speak volumes.
The pulpit regulates the spiritual condition of God’s people which affects the nation. A lukewarm, sex-saturated culture simply reflects the lack of conviction in the pulpit as well as the pew. What type of Christian would be offended when their pastor prays for the President? It appears that party affiliation, and not genuine concern, is fueling the animosity.
Sadly, many pastors are exchanging truth for passivity, boldness for cowardliness, and conviction for comfort . . . most are not aflame with righteousness. We aim to be motivational speakers rather than preachers of righteousness.
A paraphrase that is often attributed to Alexis De Tocqueville, a Frenchman who authored Democracy in America in the early 1800s, sums it up: “It was not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her success. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
Pastors (and Christian leaders alike) must take responsibility for the spiritual health of today’s church and the nation. We don’t need more marketing plans, demographic studies, or giving campaigns; we need men filled with the Spirit of God.
Pastors, we are not just cheerleaders, we are game changers. We are called to stir and to convict so that change takes place. Granted, there are many wonderful pastors such as Platt. I appreciate his ministry, but, as a whole, the church has drifted off course. We often want to be politically correct rather than biblically correct.
Here are four ways to offset this trend.
1. Return to the prayer closet. Without prayer, “the church becomes a graveyard, not an embattled army. Praise and prayer are stifled; worship is dead. The preacher and the preaching encourage sin, not holiness…preaching which kills is prayerless preaching. Without prayer, the preacher creates death, and not life” (E.M. Bounds).
When God brings change, prayer has been the catalyst. Martin Luther prayed and the church was reformed. John Knox prayed and Scotland was revived. John Wesley prayed and America was restored. George Whitefield prayed and nations were changed. D.L. Moody prayed and America fell to her knees. Amy Carmichael prayed and India received the gospel. And so it goes. When you pray, you move the hand of God.
The dry, dead lethargic condition of the church simply reflects an impotent prayer life. While five-minute devotionals and prayers are good, they aren’t going to cut it in these dire times. We need powerful times of prayer, devotion and worship.
Sermons should not come from pop psychology and the latest fad; they must come from the prayer closet where God prepares the messenger before we prepare the message. It takes broken men to break men. Unplug the TV, turn off Facebook, and get back into the Word of God, prayer and worship.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Charisma News