So here is something I never expected to speak in glowing terms of, a speech by Tucker Carlson. But I have to hand it to hime his remarks at the Heritage foundation were dynamite. The best summary was on Twitter from I know not who, but they nailed it:
And while I would like to spill some ink amen-ing much of what Tucker said* and going through the usual litany of failures from the Evangelical trendsetters. I, instead, think we should focus on the impressive Tucker gives at the end. Take ten minutes a day to pray for the country and leaders. I agree, however, such words can easily be misconstrued as the kind of platitudes that have been espoused flaccidly from many pulpits across the nation. Most in the kind of rah rah, flag waving, Forth of July spectacle hosting, America is an idol kind of church we are all familiar with. And most of those being part of the Southern Baptist Convention.** On other words, a call to pray for America and her leaders can fall flat because of entropy or because of rebellion to what someone was raised in.
So what should those ten minutes of prayer be filled with?
Well, I’m glad you asked, because I have some thoughts.
First, That God will be glorified though the execution of his sovereign will. This could sound as platitudinous as the above, “pray for our nation.” But it is key. As Calvinists we pray, “Thy will be done.” with a deathly seriousness. Which also means that we glorify God if America has a Reformation, or goes out with a bang, or goes out with a whimper. God is glorified most when we delight in the outworking of His sovereign will, no matter what. Part of our requests are to be in absolute submission to his will. And that our requests will then increasingly align with said will. Again this is important because of where it might lead. Requests for pleasant outcomes, or requests for unpleasant outcomes.
Second, for Reformation. Not revival. The word revival is modern and his not place in scripture. Repentance, restoration, and reformation do have Biblical warrant. Revival is often revivalism and is the emotional equivalent of a weekend at the county fair. Some people love it, some are upset, and later everyone pretends it was either bettor or worse than it actually was. So we pray for reformation. That the Church would be reformed, preferably that it all become Reformed in it’s theology, and hey, “Let your requests be made known to God!” But we should pray that the house of God would reform, that the disparate voices who are burying their heads in the sand (the kind the above tweet screen shotted lists) would have their eyes opened to their blind spots, repent of burying their heads in… the sand. And that the culture around the Church would repent, believe, and reform the nation. From the lowliest plowboy up-to and including the president.***
Third, Imprecatory Psalms are a thing… A vital point in Tuckers speech was a plea for people to recognize we are not dealing with reasonable secular people who are willing to live and let live. No, we are in a spiritual war, we are fighting evil. And sadly a lot of the leadership, on down flat out refuses to acknowledge it. They want to point to the Q Annon kooks, and they are kooks, saying, “You don’t want to be like them do you?” Well, no thank you very much. But I can acknowledge that something is rotten in The State of Denmark, or more accurately that something is downright evil in the halls of American power. “We do not fight against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities” (Mark that first part we will come back to that). Part of our prayers should be that God would, in His righteous wrath, destroy the wicked; with prejudice. I can already hear the howls of protest, let me deal with them. What about loving your enemies. I would submit this is setting Scripture against Scripture. David prayed for his enemies to be sent to hell, and then did everything in his power to kill them. The assumption is that loving our enemies means lying down and letting them steam roll over us. That is not being loving at all, much less to those being hurt by the evil enemy. Jesus is not saying do not fight them tooth and nail, to the death. He said to love them, or to put it another way, do not hate the person, you can do good to an enemy you have struck down. We have to stop allowing the evil ones to control the dictionary and set the terms of what is and isn’t loving. Moving on, and this is vital, we must remember “we do not fight against flesh and blood.” My contention is that we pray for the will of God to be done, and if that happens to be he strikes them dead, we can have prayed for that with a clean conscience. But it is not our place to assume we know that will and go, say shoot up a pizza parlor in DC. That is what crazy kooks do, not Calvinists. But I see no reason to not beseech the Lord to take from this world evil people and deposit them somewhere my friend Lukas would say is, “Toasty roasty.” And honestly that list might be a little long these days.
In all of this we must continue to return to our ongoing sanctification as we grow closer and closer to the image of Christ. The more we progress, the more we will understand and be inline with the will of God and know better what to pray. In the meantime I feel that these three point can more than sufficiently fill ten minutes of prayer for our nation and its leaders.
*particularly about Episcopal’s.
**Someone should look back and see if Rick Warren was making a big deal about patriotism and setting off fireworks in the sanctuary and then pair that footage with his current apology for the sins of America tour. I’m not saying the man is a snake, but his shoulders do seem to be missing…
***And if David French or Russ More are getting too worried this sounds all a little Christian Nationalist, just wait for the second point.
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