Monday, November 7, 2016

21 Days of Prayer for the United States

I will set this post to run at the top of my list until November 7.

These are troubling days in the grand old U.S. of A.

These battles cannot be fought with politics, military, or medical doctors alone.  We need God's help. We need God's help again.

Because, as the second President of the United States understood, "the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God." 

Why not focus on praying for America the twenty-one days prior to the Presidential election?    The prayers are based on the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6, the armor of God in Ephesians 6, and Daniel’s prayers in Daniel 9-10.

If you have not already, you can read my article Fervent, Righteous Praying for America here.

Use the following prayer guide from October 19 - November 8, 2016.  

Day One:  Ask God to glorify Himself in and through our nation 
                                (Matthew 6:9)

Day Two: Ask that God’s names would be honored through the lives of His children in the United States: the Lord our righteousness, the Lord who sanctifies, the Lord our peace, the Lord who provides, the Lord our Truth, the Lord who heals, the Lord our Shepherd, the Lord our Banner, the Lord our Hope, etc. (Matthew 6:9)

Day Three: Pray for God’s kingdom to prosper and for the Father’s will to be done in our country and this election.  (Matthew 6:10)

Day Four: Ask God to provide for our needs in this country.  (Matthew 6:11)

Day Five: Ask for a spirit of forgiveness to come over His church.  May we forgive each other and walk in forgiveness, grace, and mercy.  (Matthew 6:12)

Day Six: Ask God to put the person in office who will do the most good to promote godliness.  Ask God to guard our nation from evil. (Matthew 6:13)

Day Seven: Ask God for the spirit of truth in this election and for deception to be exposed.
                                    (Ephesians 6:14)

Day Eight: Ask for people to vote for the party platform that most represents a biblical view of righteousness and godliness. (Ephesians 6:14)

Day Nine: Ask God for the candidate who will do the most good to help protect the freedom to promote the gospel of peace – the good news of Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 6:15)

Day Ten: Ask God to protect God’s people, God’s work, and the work of righteousness in this nation with the shield of faith.  May God’s people use their faith to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one. (Ephesians 6:16)

Day Eleven: May God grant a spirit in our nation so that people think correctly, have discernment, see through deception, and have the mind of Christ.
                                 (Ephesians 6:17)

Day Twelve: Ask God to put into office the person who will be the most likely to be a friend of biblical values, to protect people who believe in biblical values, and to promote legislation in keeping with biblical values.  (Ephesians 6:17)

Day Thirteen            Ask the Lord to pour out a spirit of intercession and grace upon His church during these days. (Ephesians 6:18)

Day Fourteen           Thank God for the covenant that our American forefathers had with the God of the Bible.  Ask God to keep His covenant of love and mercy with His people. (Daniel 9:3-4)

Day Fifteen              Confess and agree with God that we as a nation have sinned, committed iniquity, done wickedly, and rebelled against the Lord and His Word. (Daniel 9:5-7)

Day Sixteen             Repent of specific sins and wrongdoings of our nation.  Repent of our not obeying the Lord and His Word. (Daniel 9:8-9)

Day Seventeen        Pray for God to work in our country and this election for us to make laws that reflect biblical principles and statutes. (Daniel 9:10-15)

Day Eighteen           Ask God to hear the prayers of His people and cause His face to shine on our nation.  Ask the Lord to respond to the prayers of His remnant in our nation and to act on behalf of His remnant. (Daniel 16-19)

Day Nineteen          Ask the Lord to send many angels in the spiritual realm to fight in the heavenlies over the United States of America and this Presidential election.  (Daniel 10:10-12)

Day Twenty             Ask for the Lord’s armies to prevail over the demonic armies over the United States of America.  Use the weapons of our warfare to pray over our nation. (Daniel 10:13-14)

Day Twenty-One      Ask God for a spirit of trust and peace to replace a spirit of fear.  Ask God to strengthen His people in our country.  Thank God for hearing our prayers. (Daniel 10:15-19)

Why a Southern Baptist Pastor Will Vote for the Unvirtuous Donald Trump

I will set this post to run as #2 at the top of my list until November 7.

Donald Trump was my last choice during the Republican primary.  I groaned and grieved when the Donald received the nomination.  

On the other hand, I could never vote for Hillary.  Her election would continue Obama’s tyranny, arrogance, and disastrous economic and foreign policies.  She will continue his dismissal of the Constitution and rule of law and extend his massive overreach of government.  

One interviewer asked former Secretary of Education William Bennett, well-known for his books on virtue, how the “virtue man” could support the unvirtuous Trump.  Bennett answered, “I understand how you feel about some of the things he said, but it may be better to lower your standards on things the guy says temporarily than to lose your country permanently.”

Horrifyingly Corrupt

And with Clinton, it may be a permanent loss.  She would be a disaster for foreign policy, including ISIS, immigration, the economy, taxation, religious liberty, and race relations.  Her radical justices would sit on the Supreme Court for decades.  And as for experience?  She has plenty of experience – marked by corruption, deception, and failed policies.  
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said, "She would be horrifyingly corrupt as President. And she would be a disaster in public policy. Remember, this is not about politics. The cost of Hillary's dishonesty could be the loss of America as we know it." 

Peggy Noonan writes, “Clintonism is a way of governance based on a dishonesty so pervasive and all-encompassing . . . that you cannot believe they expect you to believe the bizarre story they just peddled because no one would lie like that.” One of the most disturbing things about Hillary is “the disconnect between the reality of Hillary, the image of Hillary, and the ruthlessness with which she will go to any length to protect that image.”

Governor Mike Huckabee said, "If Hillary is elected, we have a real good shot at losing religious liberty, the Second Amendment, the Fourth and the Fifth, having open borders . . . .  This country is going to take a very, very negative direction."

Pastor Jim Garlow, who wrote If You're On the Fence About Your Vote, This Pastor Clarifies How the Very Future of America Is At Stake, says “Although America has had some scandal-ridden candidates in its history, we have never seen any one major party candidate more constantly scandalous as Hillary (along with her husband). She seems to exceed all previous boundaries for wrongdoing. The scandals just don't stop.”

I cannot entrust the future of my children and grandchildren one day to her folly.  Not in the most important election of our lifetime.

Dennis Prager writes, "The left is successfully undoing every one of those founding principles [of our nation]. . . . [W]e are at the most perilous tipping point of American history."

Ben Carson shared, “We must remember that 2016 is not just about who will sit in the Oval Office for the next 4 years, but who will sit on the Supreme Court for the next several decades.” 

But then I am faced with Donald Trump.  As Snoopy says, “Argghh.”

Wayne Grudem, my favorite modern theologian for twenty years, penned an excellent article, which can be googled, entitled Why Voting for Donald Trump is a Morally Good Choice.  Grudem shares the angst of a Christ-following, Bible-believer choosing to vote for Donald Trump – a very flawed candidate.  

Grudem challenges us to see the big picture – what a different nation would result from a Hillary Clinton presidency and her far-left radical agenda.  The worst consequence of all of voting for Clinton: “you will be contributing to a permanent loss of the American system of government due to a final victory of unaccountable judicial tyranny.”

The economic and foreign policies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have put this country in a steady decline.  We cannot afford eight more years in this direction.  The morale of our nation is the lowest of my lifetime.

Airline Sewage

Last weekend, the media dumped two more loads of information on the country with Trump's recorded lewd comments about women and Clinton's talks with Wall Street.  Governor Mike Huckabee said, "the 'October surprises' we’d been bracing ourselves for since summer started dropping on our heads like frozen airline sewage."

Huckabee also said that Trump's locker room talk was inexcusable, yet forgivable.  The essence of Christianity is to be forgiven for past grievances and our nature of sin.

Sadly, some of the men who served our country as POTUS were marked by their own sexual transgressions.  LBJ was a habitual womanizer.  JFK had numerous affairs.  Bill Clinton - well, enough said.  Those three Democratic Presidents left long and sordid trails of lewd, inexcusable behavior.  The difference today is that we have digital technology and internet capabilities that make hiding locker room talk and Oval Office affairs incredibly more difficult.  

Can you imagine the gutter garbage that would have been captured had White House staffers had digital devices during the years of LBJ?

Yes, as I have said all year, Trump has not been a beacon of sexual morality.  He leaves much to be desired. 

I wish that Hillary Clinton were up against Mike Huckabee, or Ted Cruz, or Scott Walker.  But that is not the case.  

As my friend Dianne Belsom posted on facebook this week, "His [Trump] comments come as no surprise and will not change how I am already voting. We have two viable options in this election: Trump or Hillary. ONE of them (pending some sort of catastrophe or divine intervention) will be the next POTUS. Trump is STILL the far better choice of the two."  

I also remind myself that I am not voting on the President of a Bible college, seminary, or ministry.  I am voting on a political leader.  Yes, ideally, I want my President to be a godly man.  But that is not currently an option.

House on Fire

When the house is on fire, it would be nice for the firemen who come to be God-fearing, Bible-believing Christians.  But I will take the most qualified firefighter who gets to my house. 

Right now the house of our country is on fire.   

Ronnie Floyd, former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, wrote, "The problem with this election is that we have lost sight of what’s really on the ballot. We don’t vote for personality but for policy. Vote not for a man or a woman, but for the future of our children."

ISIS poses the greatest threat to our nation.  Our next Commander in Chief must be prepared to deal diligently, forcefully, and courageously with the threat of radical Islamic militants.  Their motive is religious.  For centuries, radical Muslims have wanted world domination.  They want to remove Christians from the globe.  They view the United States as a Christian nation.  (They may understand our history better than some modern secularists.  Up until the 1950's the Supreme Court still declared that America was a Christian nation.)

Last month in ISIS' magazine, they declared that they will "kill people of the cross."  In the past year in their magazine, they declared that they would march to Rome, removing every cross along the way.  They have declared a holy war on Christianity and on the western world.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will not even say the words radical Islamic terrorists.  They will not acknowledge that this is a religiously-motivated problemIf you fail to acknowledge the source of the problem, you cannot solve it.

This is not a time for political correctness.  We face an enemy who wants to infiltrate America and wipe us out.  Every two minutes, ISIS kills a Christian somewhere in the world.

It is time for a Churchill, not a Chamberlain.    

Jezebel and Samson

Christian apologist Eric Metaxas shares similar thoughts in the article Why Christians Should Vote for Donald Trump:  "We need to understand that if you care about this country, you care about the rest of the world, you need to take this election very seriously.  Beyond that, I don't think Trump is going to save America. I think Trump would pull us back five feet from the cliff so that we have bought ourselves a little time to keep the republic. I think if Hillary Clinton is elected, we are not going to have that ability."

Metaxas also offers an excellent essay, with which I agree, called "Should Christians Vote for Trump?"

As Dennis Prager said, "I’m not defending Trump.  I’m voting for him.  I’m defending America from Hillary Clinton who will fundamentally do much more damage to our beloved country."  

And later he writes, "There is no defense for Donald Trump’s comments or alleged sexual misbehavior. But in terms of damage to America, there is no comparison between what he has said and allegedly done and what she has done and advocates for the future."

One selling point for the Donald is how he gathers good, wise people around him.  The past year, Trump consistently listens to and affirms people like Mike Pence, Ben Carson, Newt Gingrich, Trey Gowdy, and others.

David Lane of the American Renewal Project writes, "Though I believe a Hillary win in November will quicken the pace of the downward spiral [of corruption in our country], the election has not yet taken place.  It's not too late, if Evangelical pastors and pews will move into the public square this fall.”

Regardless of whether or not someone likes or respects a candidate, voting for a President is much greater than simply voting for one person.  Wise voters should research the party platform of each political party.  The party agrees to work, if their candidate is elected, on the values of the platform.

In biblical terms, we are faced with the choice of a Queen Jezebel or a Samson.  If you don’t know the Bible, it is no compliment to be called either.  Jezebel was a corrupt, power-driven woman who built a climate of deceit, ruled with manipulation, was characterized by a shameless parade of evasion and spin, and severely punished anyone who got in her way.  Samson was a dishonorable, narcissistic, immoral man characterized by frivolity and sexual conquests.  

Samson, however, was able to rise above his personal failures in order to do good for the nation.  The queen could never rise above her culture of deceit and corruption.  She died doing what she did best - trying to protect herself.  Samson, however, died sacrificing himself to destroy the enemy.  Samson as leader was the most likely to do good for the people.

This election cycle does not offer us a candidate to point to our children and say, "There is a man or woman of deep moral integrity.  They have lived such an exemplary life.  I want you to be like him or her, child."  We simply don't have that option this round.  

What we do have is an opportunity to say, "The future of the country is at stake, son.  Clinton and her policies will create havoc for your generation.  Out of our two flawed options, I believe Donald Trump will do the least amount of damage and the most amount of good."

We cannot always make ideal choices.  Sometimes rugged realism is needed.  At times we can't say, "What is the pure choice?"  Instead, we have to ask, "What choice will likely do the most good, or, what choice will likely do the least amount of damage?" 

To vote for a third candidate or to not vote at all, in my opinion, is highly idealistic and irresponsible and not a viable option.

There are three ways to help Hillary Clinton in November: vote for her name on the ballot, don't vote, or vote for a third party or write-in.
The blog Last Chance America shares, "PLEASE stop saying that failing to vote for Trump is not a vote for Hillary…it is."

And James Dobson said, “Clinton and his wife disrespect the Constitution of the United States, although Trump has promised to protect it, especially the First Amendment. Shall I go on? . . . I am supporting Mr. Trump primarily because I believe he is the most capable candidate to lead the United States of America in this complicated hour."

Our own Congressman Jeff Duncan recently posted, "My support for Donald Trump remains unchanged. Hillary Clinton is massively corrupt and unfit to be President of the United States. I'm far more concerned about Hillary Clinton's actions than I am with Donald Trump's words. There's too much at stake to allow Clinton to be President. From Supreme Court nominees, to executive amnesty, to the refugee resettlement program, she would be a disaster!"

When I see the big picture and rise above the political-media rhetoric, I agree wholeheartedly with Grudem's original article.  My conscience and my “considered moral judgment tell me that I must vote for Donald Trump as the candidate who is most likely to do the most good for theUnited States of America.”

It's a dark day in America as it was in the time of the biblical book of Judges.  Out of 300 million people, the flawed lives of our two choices for the President of the United States speak to the great moral-spiritual-ethical void in the USA.    

No, I cannot and will never vote for Jezebel.  Samson is the lesser of two evils and the more likely one to do good for our nation.  

Surprisingly, Old Testament Samson is recorded in Hebrews 11, The Hall of Faith, as a faith-hero.  It seems the grace of God has a way of covering our past failures and shortcomings.

I fear for our country should Clinton win.  

I unapologetically will vote for Donald Trump in November.

See my prayer guide 21 Days of Prayer For the United States.

Read my post called Fervent, Righteous Praying for America.

See Decision Magazine's 2016 Presidential Election Guide here.

Check out my book reviews regarding Hillary Clinton:

Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate.

The Case Against Hillary Clinton

The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents.