Praying With A Punch
Lest we forget! If we strongly want to pray a prayer that captures the true spirit of II Chronicles 7:14, we do well to remember and pray the prayer as was offered to the Lord before the Kansas House of Representatives on January 23, 1996 by Pastor Joe Wright. I am sure many of us remember that incredible moment in history which fulfilled that great Scripture which states,
“and 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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Frankly, what you are about to read, or should I say, what you are about to pray and storm Heaven with, is not:
“YOUR TYPICAL PRAYER BEFORE LUNCH,”
which so often is as powerless and punchless as the so-called prayer which a student prayed before the noon meal in a college cafeteria in order, I suppose, to be cute and clever. It simply said, as I was there and heard it with then much younger ears:
“BLESS THIS BUNCH AS THEY MUNCH ON THEIR LUNCH.”
Plus, keep it short so we can get to what we really want to do, and that is eat. Prayer so often accommodates God rather than accents God. God so often is merely a means to an end, rather than the end-all and be-all of our lives. God is an hors d’oeuvre rather than the main course. We would much rather feed on physical food than feed on Him Who is the bread of life. All quite the opposite of Jesus Who said:
“I have food that you know not of.”
“MODERN PRAYERS MORE OFTEN THAN NOT MAKE GOD AN ACCESSORY
TO OUR LIVES RATHER THAN THE UTTER NECESSITY OF LIFE ITSELF.”
Now then, what we are about to pray is frankly shocking, prayer that is seldom heard in the church, in the home, or anywhere else for that matter these days. It is a prayer with a confessional clout that has become almost extinct. It is a prayer that bows the head, humbles the heart, and buckles the knees.
“THIS IS A PRAYER WITH A POWERFUL KNOCK-OUT PUNCH THAT WILL
BRING VICTORY OVER THE ENEMIES OF GOD AND THE FORCES OF
EVIL THAT ARE EXERTING THEMSELVES AS NEVER BEFORE .”
What we are about to pray not only connects with the heart of God, but with jaw of the enemy. Every prayer prayed today must have both powerful vertical and horizontal impact, or else typical namby-pamby prayers will disconnect us from God, and the enemies of God will knock us flat. As to Heaven, wishy-washy prayers will be answered with, “Sorry, wrong number.” As to earth, they do nothing to stop the enemies of Christ from knocking us down again and again for the count of ten. Modern history proves that very reality. It is time we get back off the mat and come out swinging.
THE PRAYER THAT ROCKED AMERICA
Pastor Joe Wright, the then pastor of Central Christian Church in Wichita, Kansas was not a prayer trafficker in bunny and gerbil prayers, but rather a prayer warrior launching prayer bombs and grenades. For far too many today, praying is a furry little prayer-pet shop rather than Joe Wright’s prayer battleground. Much of what is being prayed today is quite pale and anemic compared to the powerful, pumping prayer-heart of II Chronicles 7:14.
Pray now with Pastor Joe his prayer, would you please? To get ready to pray Pastor Joe’s prayer, you better stop chewing your gum, and start chewing on nails. Now then, it might be well to join with me on our knees before the Lord, as we pray with Pastor Joe in the Kansas House of Representatives.
Imagine that you are there, and that you are the one praying this prayer. I know personally what it meant for him to do so, because I once was asked to pray before the Michigan House of Representatives, which I did. I could feel the conflicted and contrary atmosphere in the House, and that was decades ago. I was a bantam weight compared to Pastor Joe the Lord’s Heavy-Weight-Prayer Puncher. Now then, let’s pray:
“Heavenly Father, we come before You today to ask Your forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. Lord, we know Your Word says, “Woe to those who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we’ve done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.
We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it moral pluralism.
We have worshipped other gods and called it multi-culturalism.
We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building esteem.
We have abused power and called it political savvy.
We have coveted our neighbors’ possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our fore-fathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us oh God and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.
Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas, and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state. Grant them Your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your will. I ask it in the name of Your Son, the Living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!“
Wham! A right and a left and a right and another left. The forces of evil are rocking and staggering as all the powers of Heaven respond in full force. Whatever we hit on earth God will hit in Heaven.
This is a Holy Spirit inspired prayer, as it convicted of sin and righteousness. Wherever and whenever the Holy Spirit is interceding, there will be TONGUES OF FIRE. When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, suddenly there came upon those followers of Christ tongues of fire. If we could see into the Spirit realm, we would have seen tongues of fire on Pastor Joe Wright’s head. This is a prayer that burned to the depths of the soul. Oh God, how we need the Holy Spirit’s firey preaching and praying again.
This is as close to II Chronicles 7:14 as I have ever heard prayed. Pastor Wright did not pray THEY, but rather, he prayed WE. He prayed both as a son of God and as an American. It is obvious that America can no longer confess anything, as its spiritual and moral sense is dead. God’s people must do the confessing of their sins and the sins of the nation, for in both cases they are our own. It starts with us as God makes crystal clear in II Chronicles 7:14. Now we are praying a prayer that is not about THEM, but about all of US!
So much of today’s prayers are far gone in the totally opposite and pacifying direction. It can best be captured by the following:
“THE VAST MAJORITY THESE DAYS ONLY KNOW HOW TO CLAIM
THEIR RIGHTS, BUT KNOW NEXT TO NOTHING ABOUT
CONFESSING THEIR WRONGS.”
That is true, scary to say, both politically and religiously, governmentally and ecclesiastically.
Come now, you and I know, if we are totally honest, the dominance of what we are talking about:
“PRAYING CHEESEBURGER AND HOT FUDGE SUNDAE-WITH-
NUTS PRAYERS, JUST LIKE PLACING ORDERS
AT McDONALDS – ‘I’LL HAVE….’”
Such prayers are basically irrelevant and have no power-punch with God whatsoever. They cannot penetrate the clouds let alone Heaven. We might just as well bark at the moon This is what has happened in the ecclesiastical world:
“TAKING AWAY THE HARSH REALITY OF THE CONFESSION OF SINS
FROM OUR PRAYERS, HAS TURNED OUR PRAYERS
INTO WORTHLESS FROTH.”
Worse than that, given the now non-confessional nature of prayers in church and government:
“WE ARE MAKING GOD THE PATRON OF OUR PERSONAL AND
NATIONAL GUILT RATHER THAN THE PARDONER
OF OUR GUILT.”
If you will:
“SO MUCH NON-CONFESSIONAL PRAYING TODAY MAKES THE THRONE
OF MERCY AN ACCEPTOR OF OUR PERSONAL AND NATIONAL
SINS RATHER THE SOLE AC-QUITTER.”
Why is this happening? Because:
“IN THE SECULARIZED HUMANISTIC SOCIETY AND CHURCH, WE DO
ALL THINGS TO BE APPROVED BEFORE THE EYES OF MEN
AND COVER UP WHAT MAY BRING DISAPPROVAL.”
“WE ARE COVER-UPPERS AND SELF-CONGRATULATORS AND
NO LONGER CONFESSORS.”
In fact, we can hardly relate to the words of national confession of sins in Nehemiah 9:1-3,
“Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the sons of Israel
assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dirt upon them.”
“And the descendants of Israel separated themselves from
all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and
the iniquities of their fathers.”
“While they stood in their place, they read from the book of
the law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day; and
for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the
Lord their God.”
You can’t be serious! Oh yes, as serious as can be, as the people of God covered themselves with dirt as a symbol of how dirty and rotten they and the entire nation were. They knew under Nehemiah’s leadership that the reason they had been taken into captivity and Jerusalem had been wasted and leveled was their sins. Then for the fourth of the day, they confessed their rottenness to and before God. Why, we can barely fill a fourth of our prayers or the fourth of one minute with confession of our sin let alone the fourth of a whole day.They confessed their sins to God for six hours which for many today would be more like six lifetimes.
You and I must hear this:
“IT IS DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS TO COME INTO GOD’S PRESENCE
AND TO LEAVE HIS PRESENCE WITH ANY ONE SIN
UNCONFESSED AND UNREPENTED OF.”
“EVERY SIN UNCONFESSED AND UNREPENTED OF WILL PROVOKE
GOD TO WITHDRAW HIS GRACE AND MERCY, THEREBY
LAYING THE NATION AND OURSELVES OPEN TO
THE COMMISSION OF GREATER SINS.”
There are two times and places that you don’t want to exit with any unconfessed sins:
1. Leaving the prayer presence of God
2. Leaving this world at the end of our lives.
Barry Black is Chaplain of the United States Senate. What follows is a very typical prayer that he regularly prays on the floor of the Senate:
“Eternal and dependable Creator of the universe, we acknowledge You
giver of every good and perfect gift. You are our solid rock, You arm
us with strength. Thank you for the seasons and the climates, for
sowing and reaping, for color and fragrance. Thank you for the
time of harvest when our labors and our dreams are rewarded.”
“Today bless our lawmakers. Illumine their lives to keep them on the right
paths. May the creative power of Your Word produce in them a greater
faith and an indomitable hope. Keep them from slipping; fill them with
courage as You show them Your unfailing love. Give them an attitude
of openness to receive the fullness of your grace and truth. We pray
in Your precious name.”
It all sounds good and well, and full of flowery and poetic verbosity, but without the least bit of power to cleanse one tiny poo-stain from a baby’s diaper. I can almost hear God say, “Stop blowing prayer smoke in My face.” The fact is:
“STATING IT IN LANGUAGE OF THE DAY, ‘ONLY WHEN WE GET
DOWN WILL OUR PRAYERS GO UP.'”
And never are Black’s prayers in the express name of Jesus. A glaring offense to the Heavenly Father and to His Son in Whose name we must always pray. This goes on day after day as the Senate day after day sinks deeper into darkness and deception and debauchery, while prayers of a lot of bogus mumbo-jumbo are spoken to impress those who are listening if they listen at all.
AMERICA – TURN BACK TO GOD IN REPENTANCE – OR – GOD WILL
COME TO AMERICA IN JUDGMENT
Our land is sick! The nation is sick. Much of the modern church is sick. The government is sick. The justice system is sick. The educational system is sick. Sin sick! Sick unto death! That is why the Lord uses the word HEAL. He does not say that in answer to our prayers He will REDISTRIBUTE or RESTRUCTURE or REJUVENATE or REVIVE or REFORM. No, what He does say is that He will HEAL THE LAND. We do not need band-aid prayers, but we do need deep, powerful, healing prayers that get at the spiritual and moral ROOTS of the desperate sin-sickness of the land. And if we don’t, this once Christian democracy will die, So the strong point of II Chronicles 7:14 is this:
“WHEN WE GET PAINFULLY REAL, ONLY THEN WILL
GOD POWERFULLY HEAL BOTH OURSELVES
AND THE NATION.”
How did our land get this horribly sick? The spiritual and moral deterioration and decay of America has been relentless and hideous to watch. She started out so strong and her sin was weak. Now she spiritually and morally so very weak, and her sin so very strong. Understand:
“THE COMMISSION OF SIN AND UNBELIEF WILL SICKEN AND WEAKEN,
BUT THE CONTINUANCE IN SIN AND UNBELIEF WILL
ROT AND DECAY.”
“A MAN OR NATION FALLING TO THE GROUND IN SIN WILL GET BRUISED,
BUT STAYING IN THAT FALLEN STATE WILL ROT A MAN AND
A NATION AND WORM THEM TO DEATH.”
“AMERICA CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE HEALED OF HER MISERIES AND
TURN FROM HER SINS UNTIL SHE REALIZES AND CONFESSES
HOW SPIRITUALLY AND MORALLY MISERABLE SHE IS.”
“TURNING FROM SIN – REPENTANCE – IS TOO GREAT AND TOO DEEP
A THING TO BE DONE SHALLOWLY AND FRIVOLOUSLY.”
“ONLY WHEN SORROW FOR SIN BECOMES FULLER AND FULLER, WILL
REPENTANCE GO DEEPER AND DEEPER.”
“GOD WILL NEVER AGAIN BE GLORIFIED IN AMERICA UNLESS
SHE REALIZES AND CONFESSES HOW INGLORIOUS
SHE HAS BECOME.”
Only then will God forgive the sins of this nation, and heal her of the ills that Pastor Joe Wright detailed in his prayer.
Otherwise, I believe that God will COME in judgment against America that will be carried out by Him from within or from without. It is my growing conviction that God will judge this morally rotten and God-defying nation from within through this present equally rotten and God-defying rogue regime.
In both the Old and New Testament, the verb COME or COMING is often used to indicate God’s approach in judgment. We read in Isaiah 30:27,
“Behold, the name of the Lord COMES from a remote place; burning is His
anger, and dense is His smoke; His lips are filled with indignation.”
And Psalm 50:3,
“May our God COME and not keep silence; fire devours before Him, and
it is very tempestuous around Him.”
And we read in Revelation 2:16,
“Repent therefore; or else I am COMING to you quickly, and I will make
war against them with the sword of My mouth.”
I hear these days lots of people saying things like:
“SOMETHING BAD IS GOING TO HAPPEN.”
“SOMETHING BAD IS COMING.”
Listen, it is not something that is COMING, it is SOMEONE. We are not at the mercy of something, but we are at the mercy of SOMEONE. Either America will turn back to God or God will COME to America from a remote place burning in His anger. We are not playing prayer games here, even though the feebleness of our prayer blows would seem to indicate that we think we are.
SHADOWBOXING PRAYING AND PREACHING
And Pastor Joe Wright got PENETRATINGLY AND POWERFULLY REAL where it counted the most. For you see, his power-punch prayer was prayed up and carried out in the ring with the opposition, not in a gymnasium with friendly sparring partners.
The Apostle Paul gave us a 1-2 punch in a powerful challenge recorded for us in I Corinthians 9:26,
“Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box
in such a way, as not beating the air.”
“I BOX IN SUCH A WAY AS NOT BEATING THE AIR.” That is better known as:
“SHADOWBOXING IMAGINARY OPPONENTS.”
Too many of us shadowbox all our life long, and indulge in a lot of fancy theological footwork, lunging, flexing, feinting, sparring, and sidestepping all the while beating the air. We do a lot of that in prayers and preaching in churches and from pulpits, especially the sidestepping of the gut issues that goes on in today’s praying and preaching. So that when it comes to standing up for Heaven in the midst of hellish forces, we retreat, bob and weave, and wait for the bell to ring to end the prayer or sermon.
Pastor Joe Wright was not shadowboxing and he sidestepped nothing, but proved to be God’s heavyweight prayer-champion of the world.
William James once wrote:
“If this life is not a real fight…it is no better than a game
of private theatricals from which we may withdraw
at will. But it feels like a real fight.”
BUT IT FEELS LIKE A REAL FIGHT! It certainly felt like that to the Apostle Paul (to Pastor Joe Wright also), and therefore it was in those terms that Paul loved to speak about it. So then:
“RUN THAT YOU MIGHT OBTAIN! SO FIGHT THAT
YOU PUT YOUR FIST WHERE IT COUNTS
We must hit hard and hit often, less we simply flap our wings like chickens and beat the air. We have had enough tickling, petting, and appeasing for far too long. It is long overdue that we pray and preach with strong punches, or stop praying and preaching altogether, for any less is a sham and a mockery.
PRAYER WARRIOR OR INTOLERANT EXTREMIST
True Christians have always been such a problem and dilemma to the unbelieving world. Those Jesus freaks do so much good for others in need, and yet they are such a constant pain in the neck with their prayers and their preaching about sin and salvation. It is a catch 22 thing for the world, as many of them in the past have looked upon born again believers like Robin Hood and Little John. You know, the best of the worst and the worst of the best.
“IF ONLY THOSE CHRISTIANS WOULD STOP BEING THE PEPPER AND
SALT OF SOCIETY, AND JUST BE CONTENT WITH BEING
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICHES.”
They are so fanatic and emphatic and dramatic! You see:
“THEY WOULDN’T BE SO IRRITATING IF THEY DIDN’T HAVE THAT
98% SPIRITUAL TESTOSTERONE FLOWING THROUGH
THEIR BLOOD STREAM.”
Extremists! Radicals! Fanatics! And so the charges keep on coming. But what is not mentioned is how Pastor Joe Wright humbled himself before the Lord and included himself in every confession of sin. The Lord says to us in II Chronicles 7:14,
“And my people who are called by name humble
themselves and pray….”
I sense a truly genuine spirit of humbleness and brokenness before God in Pastor Joe Wright. There is not a speck of Pharisaical gloat in his prayer. He is crushed in his spirit before God because of the greatness of his sins and the sins of the nation.
Pastor Joe Wright did not pray before the Kansas House of Representatives:
“Search them oh God and see if there be some wicked way in them.”
Rather he prayed:
“SEARCH US OH GOD.”
We must ask ourselves about our own prayers:
“ARE WE MORE CONCERNED FOR THE MESS THAT THE NATION IS
IN THAN WE ARE FOR THE SINS IN OURSELVES THAT HAVE
CAUSED THE MESS AND ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN?
If you will:
“WHEN WE PRAY FOR THE NATION, ARE WE FIRST OF ALL
GETTING ON THE BACKS OF AMERICANS, OR ARE WE
COVERING OUR OWN BACKS WITH SACKCLOTH
“ARE WE FIRST OF ALL REPENTING AND CRYING OUT FOR
FORGIVENESS FOR PUBLIC SINS OR FOR
OUR PERSONAL SINS?”
“AND AS WE CRY OUT FOR THE NATION TO TURN FROM THEIR
WICKED WAYS, WHAT WICKED WAYS MUST WE
TURN AWAY FROM?”
The Kansas House of Representatives totally missed the spirit of the man and of the prayer.
I try hard never to flinch from a fair question even if it is sharply pointed. However, in the Kansas House of Representatives that day, there was more than flinching, but some very pointed and sharp verbal fighting and punching that broke out. It was reported that one Democrat walked out in protest, and three other Democrats gave speeches critical of Wright’s prayer. Another blasted Wright’s prayer as:
“AN OUT-AND-OUT MESSAGE OF INTOLERANCE.”
Of course, there it is again and again, the far left’s modern mantra against right wing extremism and intolerance. What a glaring, ridiculous oxymoronic state of affairs, namely:
“THAT THOSE WHO ACCUSE CHRISTIANS OF BEING INTOLERANT
ARE THEMSELVES FIERCELY INTOLERANT OF CHRISTIANS
AND OF CHRISTIANITY.”
This gives rise to the blue-ribbon oxymoron of the century,
“INTOLERANCE BEING JUDGMENTAL OF INTOLERANCE.”
Leader Tom Sawyer, also a Democrat, asserted that the prayer:
“REFLECTS THE EXTREME, RADICAL VIEWS THAT CONTINUE TO DOMINATE
THE HOUSE REPUBLICAN AGENDA SINCE RIGHT-WING EXTREMISTS
SEIZED CONTROL OF THE HOUSE REPUBLICAN
CAUCUS LAST YEAR.”
Representative Jim Long, a Democrat from Kansas City, said that Wright:
“MADE EVERYONE MAD.”
(But you and I must never forget, that in this world, whatever Christians do in the name of Christ will be INTOLERABLE and MADDENING to the world. You may recall how not too many years ago, UNICEF that annually collects money for children, condemned the selling and purchasing of children in the Sudanese Civil War. The Christan mothers were raped, the fathers were killed, and the children stolen and sold into slavery.
UNICEF condemned a Christian organization that bought some of the children back for $50 each – returning them to their people and villages. UNICEF denounced the purchase of children by Christians to return them to their families as INTOLERABLE.)
Representative Powell, who had invited Pastor Joe Wright to pray in the first place, claimed that the Kansas House Democrats were only trying to make political points with their criticism, and affirmed that he supported the theme of the prayer.
Pastor Wright said afterwards, “I certainly did not mean to be offensive to individuals, but I don’t apologize for the truth…I thought I might get a call from an angry congressman or two, but I was talking to God, not to them. The whole point was to say that we all have sins that we need to repent of – all of us. The problem, I guess, is that you’re not supposed to get too specific when you’re talking about sin.” Exactly Pastor Joe, you hit the nail on the head!
You see, unlike Pastor Joe, so much of the contemporary ecclesiastical world has forgotten, if in fact they ever learned, that Christians are first of all Christ’s soldiers, not civilians, not citizens, not Americans, not politicians etc. We are in the “Army of the Lord.” Christ’s army! Soldiers of the cross in enemy territory where ever we are in this world. The battle is never ending and there are no demilitarized zones. If you will:
“THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IS AN ARMY, NOT AN AUDIENCE.
CHRISTIANS ARE SOLDIERS, NOT SPECTATORS;
WARRIORS, NOT WIMPS.”
We read about ourselves in Ephesians 6:10-12,
“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.”
“Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand
firm against the schemes of the devil.”
“For our struggle (warfare) is not against flesh and blood, but
against the rulers, against the powers, against the world
forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces
of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Everything about us, our prayers, our walk, our talk, our very presence should be distinctively militaristic. We all know how soldiers carry themselves as totally committed representatives of their home government to protect their homeland from hostile forces. The Army of Christ – the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ – has its marching orders from the Commanding General – The Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever happened to:
“ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS, MARCHING AS TO WAR,
WITH THE CROSS OF JESUS, GOING ON BEFORE;
CHRIST THE ROYAL MASTER, LEADS AGAINST THE FOE,
FORWARD INTO BATTLE, SEE HIS BANNERS GO.”
Armies don’t just claim their rights, they die for the right. Armies don’t give orders, they take orders. Armies don’t compromise, they conquer. Armies don’t retreat, they go forward. Armies don’t adjust to their enemy, they attack it. Armies don’t seek a truce, they triumph. Armies don’t question why, theirs to do or die.
Attention all you Joe Wrights! Right-shoulder arms! Left-shoulder arms! March! Charge! Pastor Joe Wright served his Lord and Commanding General with distinction and outright heroism in the Kansas House of Representatives into which he had been deployed as his Theater of War Operations that day.
SIN FIGHTER OR HATE CRIMINAL
An awfully, awfully, awfully lot has happened and changed since that mighty prayer day in the Kansas House of Representatives in 1996. Today, Joe Wright’s prayer would not only be labeled as “Intolerance,” but rather and most surely would be labeled as:
“A HATE CRIME.”
Now then, here is another blue-ribbon oxymoron:
“THOSE WHO HATE CHRISTIANS ARE ACCUSING THEM
OF BEING HATEFUL CRIMINALS.”
Of course, Jesus told His disciples that they would be hated, as we read the words of Matthew 10:22,
“And you shall be hated by all on account of My name, but it is the
one who has endured to the end who will be saved.”
“WHEN WE PRAY AND PREACH WITH SPIRITUAL AND MORAL
PUNCH IS WHEN ALL THE WORLD WILL TRY TO
PUNCH OUR LIGHTS OUT AND KNOCK OUR
Did you notice that Jesus says that His disciples will be HATED BY ALL, not just by some of the world, but BY ALL OF THE WORLD. Lest we forget, Jesus did not say that His followers would be criticized by all, but rather, hated by all. Very strong language!
When we pray with a punch, preach with a punch, witness with a punch, and live with a punch like Jesus tells us to, and like John the Baptist did before the religious and politicians alike, not a whole lot of affection will be coming our way. From time to time, and now more often than not, there are going to be uprisings that rise higher and higher and hotter and hotter – YOU SHALL BE HATED BY ALL.
We must be prepared and must prepare our fellow soldiers to be fighting ready for what Jesus said would happen – OUT AND OUT HATRED. Representative Jim Long said that Pastor Wright’s prayer made everyone MAD. Frankly, if that was all, it wouldn’t be that hard to take. But that statement by Long is not representative of the truth.
“THERE IS AN ENORMOUS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANGER AND HATRED,
THOUGH IF THE FORMER IS HARBORED LONG ENOUGH
IT WILL GROW INTO THE LATTER.”
Think of it in this way:
“ANGER OFTEN IS LIKE THE HEAT OF A MOMENTARY SPARK WHICH
EXPIRES, BUT HATRED IS ALWAYS LIKE THE CONTINUAL
FIRES WHICH SUPPLY A FURNACE.”
I think we can accurately say that:
“WHILE THE NATURE OF ANGER MAY BE TO PUNISH AND HURT,
THE NATURE OF HATRED IS THE TOTAL EXTINCTION
OF THE ONE WHO IS HATED.“
That is exactly why we read in the Word of God the words of I John 3:15,
“Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that
no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.“
Why? Because it is the very nature and heart of HATRED to kill and destroy the object of its hate.
You see, God’s anger and hate are not the same. The best of saints have shared in some of the severest instances of God’s anger. God was angry with Moses, angry with David, angry with Hezekiah, and with His chosen people. As fierce as His anger was, we do not read that He hated them.
Well then, Christian prayer-and-truth warriors should know what we shall face more and more, and it is this:
“IT IS SAID IN JOHN 13:1 OF JESUS AND HIS LOVE FOR HIS OWN
THAT ‘WHOM HE LOVES, HE LOVES TO THE END.'”
Likewise it can and must be said of the world’s hate of Christians,
“WHOM THEY HATE, THEY WILL HATE TO THE END.”
Hatred for Christianity and for Christians is rising in the land, and it is now palpable. In all of this growing antagonism against Christians, we must heed the words of our Lord in Matthew 5:44,
“But I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for those
who persecute you.”
It is the same word for love that is used in the Bible for God, our neighbors, our spouses etc. Hear this:
“WHEN WE LOVE AND PRAY AS SINCERELY AND PASSIONATELY FOR
OUR ENEMIES AS WE DO FOR OUR FRIENDS, THOSE
ARE PRAYERS THAT REACH HEAVEN.”
If you will:
“WE MUST HEARTILY AND LOVINGLY PRAY FOR OUR ENEMIES
TO BECOME THE FRIENDS OF GOD, WHEN AS YET THEY
REFUSE TO BE OUR FRIENDS.”
THE DOUBLE STANDARD IS HERE
Just think now of one punch in Pastor Joe Wright’s prayer which included:
“WE HAVE ENDORSED PERVERSION AND CALLED IT
Whoa! Confessing homosexuality as perversion. Bam! Now, of course, such public, power-punch praying and power-punch preaching is being added to the list of “Hate Crimes,” and will soon be punishable throughout America by imprisonment if the political and religious liberals and apostates continue to have their way. Barack Obama’s crusade for homosexuality and gay marriage will lead the way against those irritating Biblicists and their crusade for the exclusivity of heterosexual marriage.
Writes D. James Kennedy in his co-authored book What If America Were A Christian Nation Again?:
“I recently read of a totalitarian nation where they would not even allow
the negative mention of homosexuality on television or radio.
If anyone read Romans 1 or any of the other passages in the Bible that
condemn homosexuality, that person was going straight to jail;
do not pass Go; do not collect $200. What benighted
nation would have such an immoral law? CANADA!”
But if Christians are maligned, persecuted, or murdered, it is not a HATE CRIME. I recall as if it were yesterday, though it happened on September 16, 1999, when Larry Gene Ashbrook walked into a youth service at the Wedgwood Baptist Church in a middle-class neighborhood on the southwestern edge of Fort Worth, Texas and began shooting. He emptied three ammunition clips from a nine-millimeter, semi-automatic handgun into the 150 youthful worshipers and their leaders. Three teenagers were killed and three adults were killed, with a fourth teenager dying later at a local hospital. Seven others were treated at area hospitals and eventually released.
We know from witnesses to the slaughter that the killer violently cursed the Lord and Christians as he carried out his killing spree. I recall just as vividly that it was never reported by the media as a HATE CRIME. Rather, it was reported on as a tragedy carried out by a mentally and emotionally disturbed man. Fact:
“ONLY CHRISTIANS CARRY OUR HATE CRIMES AGAINST OTHERS,
BUT OTHERS NEVER CARRY OUT HATE-CRIMES
And I have seen and heard it again and again since that unforgettable day, that there is so much dishonest reporting by the media springing from their own anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-Christian bias and hatred. When journalism is without spiritual and moral integrity, it becomes nothing more and nothing less than constant lying, misrepresentation, and a big con game.
When Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court spoke at a prayer breakfast in 1996, you too may recall that he mentioned the Word of God without embarrassment. He went further and spoke of his own faith. He let it be known that he believed in angels and in miracles.
Some members of the press who often don’t do their homework – cited his belief in miracles – and that Scalia, mind you, was obviously one of those who call the psychic hotline programs on television. A quantum leap of fear, prejudice, and hatred!
Herblock, a well known political cartoonist, drew a cartoon after this, showing all of the justices of the Supreme Court, with Scalia studying the Bible on the bench, while all the rest of them were shown studying the U.S. Constitution. The point being, that Scalia was a right wing Bible thumper and fanatic, while all of the other judges were American Patriots. And not only that, but that the Bible and the U.S. Constitution are in fact antithetical, and that you cannot be a good American and a Christian at the same time. That is where we have come and where we are.
Now the United States Government is leading the way with the same brainwashing propaganda that covers over hate-crimes against Christians. The violence in northern Nigeria, we are being told by the Obama Administration, is simply a tribal land dispute rather than Muslims carrying out hate crimes and murders against Christians. All of this smoke-blowing despite the Muslim destruction of churches and the slaughter of Christians including many being murdered during worship services.
If you and I were to visit Turkey, we could also visit the ruins of the churches addressed by our Lord Jesus Christ in the Book of Revelation. From what I have studied, you could see the ruins of six of them, while the seventh apparently has no ruins.
There were approximately 1.5 million Armenian Christians in Turkey at the outbreak of World War I. Between the end of World War I (in which Turkey fought on the German side) until 1920, the Armenians and the Armenian Christians were killed. It was the least-reported massacre in the history of the world. Men on horseback would ride down a main street in Istanbul and cut off the heads of adults and children simply because they were Christians and not Muslims. And yet to this day Turkey denies it ever happened, but, and wouldn’t you know it, there is a museum to show the victims of Christian persecution of Muslims.
It has never changed and will never change to the end of time. It has been pretty comfortable to claim to be a Christian in the United States and in Canada up until now. That is now changing and will severely change in the very near future. Count on it and be prepared.
We very soon as godly pray-ers and preachers like Pastor Joe Wright will be faced with these very real question:
“DO WE LOVE TO PRAY TO THE LORD MORE THAN WE LOVE
THE LORD WHO WE PRAY TO?”
“DO WE LOVE THE PREACHING ABOUT JESUS CHRIST MORE THAN
WE LOVE THE JESUS CHRIST WHO WE PREACH?”
“DO WE LOVE THE PREACHING OF THE WORD OF GOD MORE THAN WE
LOVE THE WORD OF GOD THAT WE PREACH?”
The answers to those questions will determine in the hour of crunch time that is now here, whether or not we will like Pastor Joe Wright pray and preach with a punch that will knock out sin and Satan in America and in the American church, or whether we will hold back our punches.
In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out His 12 apostles, His 12 chosen ones. And in Matthew 10:16-23, do you know what He talks to them about? Fear! Hatred! Rejection! Martyrdom! He cautions them with words like these,
“You will be dragged before courts. You will be scourged publicly – just for
My name. You will be worrying about what you will say. Don’t worry.
I will give you the words. You don’t need your words,
you need My words.”
Then in Matthew 10:27-28 He says to them words that are stunning,
“What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what
you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon
In other words, the Lord will speak to us in the darkness of this world, and what the still small voice tells us, we are to declare it, speak it, pray it out in the open and shout it from the housetop. Pastor Joe Wright shouted the Word of the Lord from the Kansas Housetop of Representatives and we must do no less.
Then Jesus says to them and to us,
“And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill
the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy
both soul and body in Hell.” Amen!