Hey everyone, just a few quick thoughts on the prayer at Petal Football game situation . . .
First, I believe that we as Christians have the right to free speech and to pray when we would like. In fact in scripture, Paul calls us to pray without ceasing. So, I think that it’s a good thing for us to figure out how to honor God with our prayers in ways that brings the church together.
Sometimes in Petal, our churches don’t work together like we ought to. Perhaps, this can be a chance for us as Christians to really work together, seeking to glorify Jesus with our actions, our thoughts, and our prayers.
So, then, what is our response?
Several of the Petal pastors, including myself, are getting together today to discuss the issue. Hopefully we will come to a unified decision on how to handle the prayer and we will communicate that to you soon. But before that, a couple of words about how I think we should respond.
First, we must, must, must respond with grace and humility – not with bitterness, anger, hatred, or judgment. We must respond lovingly and gracefully. My prayer for the members of the Freedom from Religion Coalition is this. That they will one day be my brothers and sisters in Christ. I desire that they come to saving faith. How will that happened? By the movement of God, and the love of the Body of Christ.
If we pray to “shove it in their face,” we miss the point of prayer.
We must love. That is the command of God. That is our Lord’s command to us, to love our God and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Even as our Lord was being nailed to the cross, He prayed, “Father forgive them; they know not what they do.”
God desires that all be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). That’s my desire, too. That must be the desire of the church. We must respond in love.
Plus, if we are praying with bitterness in our heart, are we really praying?
Second, Jesus Christ is to be honored in this, and all things. This is all for His glory. We must act accordingly. He will bring honor to His name. We get to merely play a part in this.
We read in scripture that God wins in the end. Don’t worry. God has this. It’s all good. Let’s be faithful. Let’s honor and glorify Him. Let’s point a lost world to Him. Let’s love the folks, even the ones that we disagree with, in His love.
For love is the only way that we change hearts.
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
Let’s be Salt and Light!