When Byron Paulus was given the vision for OneCry, he sensed we need 50,000 intercessors, 5,000 communicators of the message, and 500 leaders to promote revival and spiritual awakening in their respective spheres of influence. Let’s consider that last goal: 500 leaders.
We are not talking exclusively of the need for pastors. We need leadership from ALL the cultural “mountains,” including church, but also government, business, education, media, entertainment, and family.
Because of my personal background in government prior to coming to OneCry (Naval officer, prosecuting attorney, trial court judge, advocate with state legislature on family issues, candidate for U.S. Senate), I’d like to consider what getting governmental leadership to promote revival might look like.
First, some clarification: It is possible either to overly minimize government’s role in society or to place too much weight on the importance of government. This is clear from Scripture: God HAS ordained government, and He wants us to pray for it and seek its good (see Jeremiah 29:7; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-14).
But never forget that government’s role is different from the role of the church. As a trial court judge, my role—even as a Christian judge—was NOT to evangelize those who came before me; it was to administer justice. But our court did allow church and parachurch organizations to come into our juvenile detention facilities to offer the gospel to those who were receptive to it.
In addition, let’s not forget that God has the ability to work through even non-Christian leaders for His glory. Jesus was born, as prophesied, in Bethlehem because of the edict of the very pagan Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1). Various Babylonian and Persian leaders were powerfully used by God to order the rebuilding of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 6).
The church of Jesus Christ is not dependent on government to survive or even thrive. Witness how the early church, despite persecution, grew strong and mighty. Similarly, the church in China today is growing rapidly even under heavy persecution and governmental opposition. Jesus is Lord!
Despite the truth of all this, imagine how awesome it would be for our political leaders to actually encourage the people of our nation to humbly seek God. This is not so farfetched. It has happened previously in America. Let me provide just three examples:
- At 81 years of age, Benjamin Franklin called the deadlocked Constitutional Convention to prayer in 1787.
- In 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation for prayer and fasting that included some language that fits America’s situation today as well.
- Finally, we have the example of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt actually leading our nation in prayer as our men stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.
These examples of our leaders humbling themselves and calling us to seek God’s help are consistent with many biblical examples. I am particularly drawn to leaders like King Jehoshaphat. When he heard of God’s promised deliverance through a prophet of the Lord, he bowed down with his face to the ground in worship (2 Chronicles 20:13-19) . . . and the people followed his example.
The point is, God is in charge, not us mortals—even those of us in government. “Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain” (Psalm 127:1 NIV).
I do not personally know the spiritual convictions of our current President. However, I regularly pray for him, as commanded in Scripture.
But recently I’ve been wondering what would happen if our President had a genuine Damascus Road experience (like the apostle Paul did) and felt motivated to call our nation to humble herself before God and seek His help, similar to what Abraham Lincoln did in 1863. And what if leaders from other cultural mountains followed suit? Would not many people in our nation be touched by this example and be motivated themselves to humbly pray, seek the Lord, and turn from their wicked ways?
What if every follower of Christ in America began to pray for this to happen? Do you not think God would answer?