My Easter prayer: that religious leaders not remain silent when others give prayer a bad name

Oh Lord, please help leaders of all faiths to find the courage to publicly criticize Texas Governor Rick Perry for his proclamation for days of prayer for rain that he issued last Thursday:

Photo illustration by Texas TribuneWHEREAS, throughout our history, both as a state and as individuals, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer; it seems right and fitting that the people of Texas should join together in prayer to humbly seek an end to this devastating drought and these dangerous wildfires;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life.

President Obama sometimes crosses over the line when it comes to prayer, for example in February at the National Prayer Breakfast when he said:

Obama Prayer BreakfastWe pray that the violence in Egypt will end and that the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realized.

Believing that our prayers could somehow convince God to intercede in Egypt is as ridiculous as believing that our prayers could somehow convince God to bring rain to Texas.

It is best to read the weather forecast before praying for rain. – Mark Twain

14 comments to  (Including 4 Discussion Threads) My Easter prayer: that religious leaders not remain silent when others give prayer a bad name

  • 1
    john george says:

    Griff- Sorry, but your assertions are not Biblically sound. See these words of Jesus:
    1.Matthew 19:26
    Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
    Matthew 19:25-27
    Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
    Mark 10:26-28
    Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
    Luke 18:26-28
    Also, this passage from James 5:16-18″
    “…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
    17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.”
    We’ve had this discussion before, and I still say it is like I told my children when they were growing up-
    “You can ask for whatever you want. The answer may be ‘No.’, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.”

    • 1.1
      Griff Wigley says:

      John, it does hurt to ask when the prayer is a false prayer. Jesus condemned the prayers of some of the pharisees because he could see what they really had in mind with their prayers.

      • 1.1.1
        john george says:

        Griff- This is a case of understanding the whole council of God. There is this verse in James:

        James 4:3
        “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

        That verse is counter balanced by this one in Matthew-

        Matthew 21:22
        “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

        Asking for mercy is an appeal to God’s character. It is never out of place. This is just one example in Lamentations 5:1-

        “Remember, O LORD, what has befallen us;Look, and see our reproach!”

        Also, see Lamentastions 3, starting at v. 19.

  • 2
    norman butler says:

    Well, did it..work? Rain, I mean.

  • 3
    norman butler says:

    John. Neither Elijah nor Perry. Did it work for all those prayers in Texas?

    • 3.1
      john george says:

      Norman- Not yet. See Matt. 5:45-
      “… for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
      In other words, there are natural patterns set in motion at the flood. Before that time, there had not been rain. As much as we men might think we can affect those patterns, it is God only who can sovereignly intervene.

    • 3.2
      Griff Wigley says:

      It would seem that God is more than a little irritated with those Texans!

      Critical wildfire conditions predicted on Tuesday

      April 25, 2011 – COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Dry, windy conditions today are expected to create ideal conditions for wildfires in the western portions of Texas, a situation expected to worsen on Tuesday.

      Local emergency responders and state agencies are preparing for extremely active wildfire activity in west, central and northwest Texas – areas west of a geographic line from Fort Worth to Eagle Pass.

      Drought conditions across the state, combined with dry vegetation and high winds, will increase the potential for wildfires that could spread at a rapid pace, placing lives and property in harm’s way. According to National Weather Service meteorologists, the conditions are probable for regional wildfire outbreaks.

      Winds in the 35-40 mph range with gusts up to 60 mph are forecast in the Texas Panhandle on Tuesday. Similar conditions are predicted in West Texas. And over the Possum Kingdom Complex in north Texas, where responders have seen more than 126,000 acres burn in recent days, wind speeds are predicted at 25-30 mph on Tuesday, with gusts of up to 40 mph.

    • 3.3
      john george says:

      Griff- Remember this question in Luke?

      Luke 13:4
      “Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?”

      We men are always quick to point the finger when bad things happen to a group of people. I believe this attitude misrepresents the mercy of God.

  • 4
    David Ludescher says:

    Griff,

    I thought Obama’s comments at the Prayer Breakfast were very well done. He makes note of a fact that is often ignored in today’s world -- that the call of the civil rights movement (where he got his interest in politics) is call rooted in faith. It was this lived faith that kindled Obama’s born-again Christianity.

    I am not sure what “line” you think he crossed. I didn’t even know there was a line.

  • 5
    Phil Poyner says:

    An update:

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