- Thanksgiving ("giving of thanks" in the King James)
The "American Prayer Calendar" that is part of this website and blog is designed to help individual Christians obey what Paul wrote in I Timothy 2:1,2. (See "About This Calendar (1)"). It is not easy.
For me or for anyone, there are going to be some people in the government it is harder to pray for sincerely than for others. For some of us, it may be our current President. For some others, it may be our current Speaker of the House. I don't imagine Christians in the first century found Nero easy to pray for either. I think we Americans should give thanks at the start that we don't have the kind of people or policies in authority that some Christians in other countries do. But God, speaking through the Apostle, (see II Timothy 3:16), said to pray for all men.
Now, what kind of prayer is acceptable? It is always going to be easier to pray about than for certain government officials or politicians. I saw "Fiddler On the Roof" both on screen and on stage. I believe it may only have been the stage version that had the vignette I call "The Tsar's Blessing." The philosophy of the Russian Tsars was quite anti-semitic, expressed in the words, "Strike at the Jews and save Russia." One of the young Jewish men in the play, a rabbinical student, asked the rabbi, "Is there a proper blessing for the Tsar?" The appropriate blessing for their arch-enemy in the Kremlin, according to the rabbi, was, "May God bless and keep the Tsar - far away from us!" Paul - under the Holy Spirit's inspiration, (see II Timothy 3:16) - didn't leave us that option even for our least admired officials. He specified four very positive forms of prayer that were to be made for all men, then specifically including, "For kings and for all that are in authority...":
We are actually supposed to make supplication to God on behalf of those persons in authority we find it hardest to pray for. We are supposed to intercede for them, not call down judgment, however we dislike their personality or their policies. Granted, I have those persons I find it next to impossible to give thanks for to God, just as you do - it doesn't matter here who those persons are. Jesus Himself said, "When you stand praying, forgive." In Paul's admonition, He tells us, "for all men." I don't think he exempted the women. When it comes time to pray for the Supreme Court, this applies to the female as well as the male Justices, no matter how firmly you or I may believe there should be only men there.
How many of us American Christians are really doing that? Could that have something to do with why our country is in a mess?
(See "About Me")