Scanning cable news channels on any given night can be entertaining, head scratching, and frightening all at the same time. Left is right, up is down, right is wrong, and science is gender neutral. One of the things I appreciate about attending a public high school and university is that I’ve experienced several cultures, faiths, and people over my 53 years of life on earth. Despite the numerous differences that do exist, I’ve seen common sense and prayer unite a congregation.
Then [Abraham] said to Him, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak [again]. Suppose [only] thirty shall be found there. And He answered, I will not do it if I find thirty there. 31 And [Abraham] said, Behold now, I have taken upon myself to speak [again] to the Lord. Suppose [only] twenty shall be found there. And [the Lord] replied, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. 32 And he said, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again only this once. Suppose ten [righteous people] shall be found there. And [the Lord] said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake, Genesis 18:30-32.
I recall a special Red Lion elder meeting hosted by the Gilberts. The entire Church Board was gathered in Larry’s office in a circle when Pastor’s Jamie’s words resonated with my good friend Mark. As the board was revisiting our mission statement and vision for Red Lion Evangelical Free Church, Mark was touched by the Holy Spirit, brought to uncontrollable tears. The Board didn’t care if visitors stayed or became members of our church, all we wanted as a group of believers is for our community is to know Jesus by entering into a personal relationship.
Yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will defend and protect and avenge her, lest she give me [b]intolerable annoyance and wear me out by her continual coming or [c]at the last she come and rail on me or [d]assault me or [e]strangle me. 6 Then the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says! 7 And will not [our just] God defend and protect and avenge His elect (His chosen ones), who cry to Him day and night? Will He [f]defer them and [g]delay help on their behalf? 8 I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [[h]persistence in] faith on the earth? – Luke 18:5-8
When God reveals that Sodom, where his nephew Lot now resides, is going to be destroy, Abraham blends common sense into his prayer. Abraham begins his prayer hopeful that the presence of godly individuals will convince God to alter his judgement. Jesus points to a persistent widow who uses a similar strategy as she prays for the justice and ruling she believes is just and right. While God doesn’t grant every request that you long for in prayer, mixing common sense with prayer won’t hurt and can lead to uniting an entire church body.
by Jay Mankus