Kim Davis is county clerk in Rowan, Kentucky. Following the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage, she has refused to issue marriage licenses, including requests from three same-sex couples. After a federal judge ordered her to issue such licenses, she turned to the Supreme Court. On Monday, the Court rejected her appeal. If found guilty of official misconduct, she could face up to a year in jail.
Many who oppose same-sex marriage applaud her courage, but no one thinks her actions will reverse the law. America's unbiblical moral trajectory appears irreversible. It's easy to lose hope.
Meanwhile, the stock market tumbled another 470 points yesterday, reacting to more negative economic news out of China. And murder rates are climbing in many U.S. cities—in some cases, nearly double from a year ago. What can you and I do about the Chinese economy or the national murder rate? Again, it's easy to feel powerless.
I am reading through Revelation in my personal Bible study, and recently encountered an image that has greatly encouraged me. In Revelation 5 we read: "The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (v. 8).
Revelation 8 continues the image: "Another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel" (vs. 3-4).
Think about it: God turns your momentary prayers into eternal incense that rises before him in heaven. That means your prayers today can affect events yesterday, since God knew yesterday you would pray today. (Tweet this)
In Miracles, C. S. Lewis claimed: "We can at noon become part causes of an event occurring at ten a.m. . . . My free act [of praying] contributes to the cosmic shape. That contribution is made in eternity or 'before all worlds'; but my consciousness of contributing reaches me at a particular point in the time-series."
He explained: "We must not picture destiny as a film unrolling for the most part on its own, but in which our prayers are sometimes allowed to insert additional items. On the contrary, what the film displays to us as it unrolls already contains the results of our prayers and of all our other acts.
"There is no question whether an event has happened because of your prayer. When the event you prayed for occurs your prayer has always contributed to it. When the opposite event occurs your prayer has never been ignored; it has been considered and refused, for your ultimate good and the good of the whole universe."
John Wesley believed that "God does nothing except in response to believing prayer." Senate chaplain Richard Halverson: "No place is closed to intercessory prayer. No continent—no nation—no organization—no city—no office. There is no power on earth that can keep intercession out." E. M. Bounds: "God shapes the world by prayer."
There is hope for our culture so long as we pray for our culture. It is always too soon to give up on God. (Tweet this)
Publication date: September 2, 2015
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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