Fellowship of Christian Farmers
By Kevin Cernek
October 4, 2020
“Lord Hear Us When We Pray”
When I was a kid my brothers and I and our cousins would go camping down by our creek. There were usually about 6 of us who set up our little pup tents. We’d sit around a warm fire and talk deep into the night. With the soft sound of water rippling over the rocks on the bottom of the creek, the older kids would tell horror stories about murderers and rocking chairs and hook arms. When we finally crawled into our tents to go to sleep, we were too scared to even close our eyes.
We usually weren’t prepared for the night either. After we finally managed to doze off, the fire would eventually go out and we’d begin to freeze to death. Or if it happened to rain, we’d get wet. The old tents were made out of coarse canvas material. Not that soft plastic material they’re made of today. If you touched the side of the tent when it was raining the water would seep through and get your sleeping bag all wet. So then we’d be cold andwet.
It was only a ten minute sprint from the creek to the house, so most of us usually ended up running to the house and to our warm beds and mom’s hot breakfast in the morning. There’s nothing like a warm bed and hot breakfast – just ask the people at The Holiday Inn. My wife says her idea of roughing it is the Holiday Inn. Camping was fun back then, but now that I look back on it, I’m not sure how or why.
Each evening during our meal time prayer, my wife and I pray for the sick in our church and in our families and for the requests that have come over our church’s prayer chain that day. We pray for our children and their spouses and for our children’s children. We also make it a point to pray for our government leaders. (We try to get done praying before dinner gets cold). In my lifetime alone, I have had the opportunity to pray for a total of eleven U.S. Presidents.
In I Timothy 2:1-2, the great Apostle Paul writes: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
It’s interesting that the command from Scripture is that petitions should be made first for the king (or president or government). It is very important that we pray for the government. How can we pray effectively for something as large and impersonal as our government? Well, here are some ideas:
• We can pray that the Lord’s kingdom would come and His will would be done here on earth.
• We can ask that the leaders in our government would conform to the foundation of God’s throne: righteousness and justice, (Psalm 89:14).
• We can ask that Proverbs 21:1 would be true each day: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.”
• We can ask that God not give us the judgment we deserve, but that He would give us a government of grace.
In Ezekiel 22:30, the Lord says, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” As people of prayer it is our privilege to stand in the gap and say, “Lord, give us grace, and not the punishment we deserve.”
Lord, teach us to pray.
Last March, I asked our congregation to set their phones to go off at noon to remind us to pray for our country as this pandemic first hit. I asked that we pray that the world would witness the greatness of God firsthand and that He be glorified in this time of hardship. We have witnessed the greatness of God firsthand at Martintown Community Church.
This past week, after our Tuesday Bible Study, I heard someone’s phone go off. It was exactly high noon. She said, “my granddaughter and I say the Lord’s prayer everyday at 12 o’clock.” They have been praying for our nation each day since March. I’d like to encourage you to set the alarm on your phone and pray for our government along with us everyday at noon.
Don’t know how to pray? How about we all pray the Lord’s Prayer together:
“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
We are the intercessors on behalf of our fellow countrymen and women.
The Holy Spirit abides in us. The weapons we use for the fight are not merely human; they carry the power from God that can tear down fortresses! Thank you, God!
We are the intercessors on behalf of our fellow countrymen and women. “Blessed is thenation whose God is the Lord …” (Ps 33:12). “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for … for kings and all those in authority.”
Lord, hear us when we pray.
(Kevin Cernek is Lead Pastor at Martintown Community Church in Martintown, Wisconsin).