Hard Choices in Confusing Times

On this Good Friday, I am reminded of a controversial choice made nearly two thousand years ago which was heavily influenced by a large, loud, and shamefully uninformed angry mob. In an intense moment of decision, the crowd in Jerusalem exerted excessive pressure on the local ruler to make a populist decision regarding the lives of two men. It was a sentence of life or death for two “Sons of the Father”: Jesus the Messiah and Barabbas the Murderer. The angry mob shouted loudly enough long enough that an innocent man was condemned to death, and a guilty man was set free—the choice being applauded by religious leaders present on the occasion.

While to us in the twenty-first century this choice seems exceptionally unfair, the sentence carried out utterly barbaric with the punishment in no way, shape, or form fitting the “crime,” it was this very choice which brought God’s larger plan for the redemption of humanity to fruition. It was a choice with both immediate and eternal ramifications.

Most retellings of the Passion villainize the crowd, the religious leaders, and the Roman authority who made the final verdict; however, this pivotal decision was a critical component in God’s redemptive plan. We cannot fathom any different outcome of that scenario. It HAD to be that way. I’m not saying that the excessive beatings, ridicule, mocking, and torture were part of God’s plan. God’s plan involved a battle victory for satan which secured His victory in the war for the human soul.

Fast forward to today: Good Friday 2016.

Hard ChoicesWe’ve had a week involving terrorism in Brussels, our current President dancing the Tango in Argentina, arrests of terror suspects in France, and “If you say anything bad about my wife, I’ll cyber-bully your wife!” politics here in the United States. Blech!

If you’re having a difficult time deciding whom to vote for in the upcoming election, join the club! The “How I Feel about Picking the Next President” meme is a fairly accurate description of the *apparent* dilemma facing U.S. voters in this election year.

In fact, it was this exact dilemma that sparked the concept for this blog in the first place. Although each presidential candidate exudes confidence and possesses unique qualifications for the job, each one has his or her own problem—a big problem—which overshadows any (or all) of their positive qualities. From the federal investigation of an unsecured email server to schoolyard-like bullying banter between candidates to apparent voter fraud—this election season is plagued with more controversy, distortions of truth, and verbal abuse than any other election in my lifetime. It’s chaotic, disturbing, and embarrassing.

After a week like this, I kinda feel like Bob the Tomato:


“Ya roll the dice, move your mice, nobody gets hurt.”

I suggest there is only ONE thing we can do about the upcoming election: PRAY. Pray hard for discernment, then vote according to your convictions, and trust the Lord for the outcome.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Every day at Noon EDT, I’m taking time to join people of faith all over the world to specifically seek God for clarity regarding the upcoming election. Won’t you join me in prayer? Every day, we are humbly bringing our requests before the throne of God asking Him to:

  1. Reveal the truth about each candidate;
  2. Grant us discernment to make good choices;
  3. Light a fire in the hearts of voters to participate in the upcoming election;
  4. and provide clear guidance to our current President in these troubled times.

As people of faith, this is what we are supposed to do. Scripture says:

If my people who are called by my name 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.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: 3 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:2-3

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being.'” Acts 17:26-28a

So, won’t you join me every day at Noon EDT (or whenever it’s most convenient for you) to pray about the upcoming election?

Prayat12™ Hard Choices

Great Is Thy Faithfulness (even in Brussels)

After the horror in Brussels yesterday, I needed a reminder that God is still around. He did not stop the determined terrorists from carrying out their evil plan, but He also did not abandon the innocent victims, some of whom died. As I thought through the events of the day with flashbacks to 9/11 and Paris, I was reminded of a phrase: “His mercies are new every morning” or something like that! So, I googled and found what I was looking for on BibleGateway.com:

Yet there is one ray of hope: his compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day.” Lamentations 3:21-23

I’m so grateful for the Scriptures, aren’t you?! In horrible times like these, we can look to God’s word and be reminded that God is still God. He is still on His throne. He is faithful. And His mercies are new every morning. We can have hope for a better tomorrow, because God is able to bring good out of EVERY situation.

Lamentations 3:21-22 for Brussels

Prayat12™ for the U.S. Election AND Brussels

So, today, when I pray for the victims and the families of those who lost loved ones, I will also implore God to lead investigators to the evidence they need in order to thwart any other attack plans currently in motion. That the lives which were lost will not have been lost in vain. That GOOD will come out of this horrific event. That people who had turned away from God will turn back. That the stories of miracles will be told and not muted—because miracles do happen. That the leaders of the free world will have wisdom with the important decisions they will be making in response to the attacks. And that whomever we elect as the next President of the United States will be a person of integrity who can be trusted to do the right thing and speak HOPE in times of international crisis.

#prayat12 #Brussels

Is Praying for the U.S. 2016 Election Ethical?

UpdatedUPDATED (March 22, 2016 9:34am EDT): There were three explosions in Brussels, Belgium a few hours ago. Over thirty innocent people were murdered while many others received serious injuries as a result of the evil intentions of the bombers. Our prayers are with the victims and their families. This attack underscores the main reason we need to be vigilant to pray about the upcoming U.S. election. Whoever is elected President will be responsible to make incredibly important decisions following unpredictable tragedies—whether they occur here in the U.S. or some other country. We need discernment regarding the true character of the candidates so we know how to vote. Please join us at 12pm EDT today to pray for the victims of terrorist attacks AND the upcoming 2016 election. We also encourage you to pray for President Obama, as he has vital and far-reaching decisions to make that could affect our country and the world for generations.

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Original post:

I’ve been thinking a lot about the world lately (and the upcoming election in the United States). The problems we are facing as residents on this planet are overwhelming: human trafficking, extreme poverty, natural disasters, terrorism, the refugee crisis, persecution, genocide. The list goes on ad infinitum. And to that list of terrible awfuls in this world, I would add one more issue: the upcoming 2016 Election in the United States of America. Anyone who has followed—even briefly—the candidate debates will agree that the current political climate in the United States is disturbing on many levels. It seems as though we will never be able to discern the truth about the various candidates, their campaigns, and their plans. But that is not the case. “There is a God in Heaven who reveals mysteries.” (Daniel 2:28a) Therefore, I am calling on people of faith—worldwide—to join me every day at Noon EDT (or whenever they can) to pray about the upcoming election.

Pray for the 2016 United States Election every day at Noon EDT

The White House

How can I be so selfish to ask that people of faith join together in prayer every day at the same time to pray for an election in a first-world, wealthy, free country? Isn’t that arrogant? Isn’t that wrong? Shouldn’t we be praying for something more noble like a cure for cancer or HIV or Zika? Shouldn’t we be praying for a solution to the war in Syria? The refugees who are fighting for their lives?* Is the United States election in any way something that should be on anyone’s prayer list?

Should the 2016 U.S. election be on your prayer list?

Yes! Yes, we should absolutely be praying about the election, and here’s why: The President of the United States is endowed with great power, and although we have checks and balances in place, the potential abuse of this position cannot be denied. In an article for The Huffington Post entitled, “Voting: What’s the Point?” author Lorraine Devon Wilke listed ten compelling reasons to consider very carefully the candidate for whom you cast your vote in a presidential election:

  1. A president can appoint (with Senate approval) Supreme Court judges who may serve for life.
  2.  A president can appoint federal judges, ambassadors, top government officials.
  3. A president has veto power.
  4. A president is the commander in chief with tremendous influence in declaring or ending war.
  5. A president can call out troops for short-term military action both here and abroad.
  6. A president has federal pardon power.
  7. A president can issue “executive orders” that do not require congressional approval.
  8. A president has the power to influence legislation.
  9. A president represents our country and interacts with world leaders.
  10. A president can make treaties.

There is no doubt that the President of the United States has a lot of power—whether or not you live here in the U.S. and have the legal right to vote—whoever holds this position will make decisions which could have a major impact on your country.

“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” ~Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States

No one will deny that the United States is a major force in the world. Whether political, economic, or humanitarian, the decisions made in the United States impact countries all over the world. Because of this, I ask you again to join us at 12pm EDT every day to pray about the 2016 election. Sample prayers are provided on the home page. Follow us on social media for regular updates and prayer points.

* Let me be understood: I am not asking anyone to stop praying for solutions to these major problems or cures for diseases; I am simply asking that we join together to bring one more concern—in addition to the aforementioned—to the only person who has the power to affect positive change: God Almighty.

‪#‎prayat12‬ Prayat12

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