In 1952, Congress enacted a National Day of Prayer. It was amended in 1988 to specify the first Thursday in May each year. Spring has passed and we are in the dog days of summer, but now, more than ever, is a time to pause and pray for our nation. The apostle Paul instructs Timothy, "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence" (I Timothy 2: 1-2).
This week our leaders in Washington D.C. are addressing very critical issues and the political environment is as contentious as I can recall in recent memory. An event took place last Thursday that most media outlets either ignored or reported in a negative light. Five Republican congressmen from South Carolina, Jeff Duncan, Mick Mulvaney, Trey Gowdy, Tim Scott, and Joe Wilson, all were holdouts to Speaker of the House John Boehner's "compromise deal" legislation to raise the nation's debt ceiling another 900 Billion dollars (the 75th time in our history). Three of these men, Duncan, Mulvaney, and Scott, felt led to meet in the Capitol chapel to pray and seek God's guidance and direction. What a refreshing response from elected officials.
Our national debt is currently $14 Trillion plus ... I'm still trying to figure out how increasing the amount of money we can borrow will decrease our spending, lower our interest expense, and reform our entitlement programs that are nearly bankrupt and will soon be of no value to anyone. I realize a "Balanced Budget Amendment" to the constitution is being championed by many conservatives. They say this will force us to "live within our means". Does this also allow us to increase taxes to "balance the budget" if Congress proves unsuccessful in reducing spending?
As this week has unfolded, I was tempted to use the title "It's Tea Time!" and commend the true conservatives who simply believe "enough is enough"; it's time to stop the insanity and let the chips fall where they may. I believe they are principled and wise leaders. Connie Mack, a Republican Senator from Florida, has introduced the "Penny Plan", an "extreme" idea: Let's reduce our federal spending one penny for every dollar in our federal budget. By reducing our spending 1% over the next 6 years ... we would BALANCE THE BUDGET! How many of us do you think would have difficulty saving $1 for every $100 in our household budgets? I know, it's too simple a concept; but isn't it amazing that the "tea party" conservatives are the ones who are "extreme" and want to drive this country over the cliff but Big government liberals who have contributed the most (but not all, unfortunately) are the ones who are "reasonable" and are trying to save this country? Am I missing something...? We need to stop enabling the addict...I think it's time we pay the piper and suffer the consequences of our irresponsible actions.
Upon further reflection, instead of Tea Time, I think it's Prayer Time. I challenge all of us who sincerely love this country and her exceptionalism, hope for America's continued blessings and her historical fight for liberty, to PRAY FOR AMERICA today, tomorrow, and every day. If nonbelievers take control and jeopardize our God-given freedoms, then we are given a mandate to intercede and trust God to restore godliness to our nation.
God spoke to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7: 14, "...if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." I am especially encouraged by the last three words of this passage! Did you know that both Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan choose this passage to place their hands when they took their presidential oaths of office?