You Get What You Pray For! #TraditionallySouthside

I never would have thought it would happen – not in a million years. If you were to offer me a million dollars, you could not get me to say what I am about to say. I even believe that if you were to torture me by putting me in a room full of cats without benefit of antihistamines or tissues, I would not make this statement. However, this morning, the news reported a statement made by President Obama that I agree with. Shocking? You just cannot know. In the 7 years that he has been President, I cannot remember a single opinion that he has uttered that I have agreed with. (For those of you who are going to be tempted to search out some general comment that I would agree with on moral and/or political grounds, please understand that the above statements are meant to be hyperbole to express an incredible amount of sarcasm, which by the way, is one of my spiritual gifts.)

Here is the statement (somewhat paraphrased): “The current presidential election reveals only the tip of the iceberg that is our dysfunctional political system.” Man, he has nailed it. Of course, he is mostly referring to the Republican side of things while I believe his statement applies to the overall situation. In case you didn’t know it, let me tell you that I am not a fan of Donald Trump. Nor am I a fan of Ted Cruz. Nor am I a fan of Hillary Clinton. Nor am I a fan of Bernie Sanders. Like the story line in the movie “Brewster’s Millions,” I would like to be able to vote for “None of the Above” (please understand that this is not an endorsement of this movie in any way, shape, or fashion). Not one of these candidates has represented himself/herself in a way that makes me believe that they deserve to hold the highest office in the land. None of them even seems to be presidential to me.

I made the statement to a couple of my men on Sunday morning that I want to repeat here. One of the men who I know loves me and prays for me regularly told me before our worship service began, “You do good today.” Immediately I replied, “You get what you PRAY for!” I honestly believe that this is true when it comes to worship – if your heart is right with God as you enter into worship, God responds by moving in your life and giving you what you need that day. I believe it’s true with pastors of churches. If you don’t like your pastor, pray for him. One of two things will happen: he will get better and you will like him (chances are God will change your heart, too), or he will get better and another church will take him off your hands. But I also believe that the statement is true when it comes to our political leaders. We are told that we are to pray for those in leadership positions. Even the apostle Paul who was the victim of persecution from the worst political leaders this world has known told us to pray for them and to submit to those who are in authority. Could it be that the reason our country is in the shape it is in is that we are not praying like we should.

If you haven’t picked up on the sentiment here, I am very disappointed in the political debacle that we are witnessing. From the threats of a brokered convention to the response of the Trump campaign that such an action would result in “uprisings” by the populace; from the silence of the Cruz camp to the very suggestion of a brokered convention to the threats of democrats everywhere stating that they will leave the country if either of the Republican candidates are elected; from the accusations and petty bickerings of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders to the childish behavior of Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz: I am disgusted by the behaviors and filled with a sense of dread for what the United States of America has become. However, regardless of which candidate is elected, I will not abandon my country. In fact, I believe that the only hope of this nation’s survival is for true patriots to band together, fall on their knees, cry out to God for deliverance, and surrender to His hand of justice – all the while begging for mercy. We don’t need threats of revolution; we need promises of repentance. We don’t need delegates and super delegates; we need Divine Intervention. I have never been more certain of anything – we need to come together across racial divisions, economic barriers, denominational differences, and every other man-made boundary that is keeping God’s people from praying together for a deep-seated sense of godly sorrow that will result in true repentance and God’s healing. Remember: you get what you PRAY for!

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