"Praying For Them"
May 31, 2010
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
There is a little church in a small town in the big state of Texas.
The little church, the Elijah Group, bought an existing church building to conduct its ministry. As part of that ministry, it has permission to use its facilities for a counseling service and a daycare center.
On the other hand, they are not allowed to use their building for worship services.
From the story I have received through OneNewsNow, the community has decided that since churches don't produce property taxes or generate sales tax revenue, they will be excluded from 12 of the community's 13 districts.
When I first heard that story, I thought, well, that one district really can say, "We're holier than thou."
That bit of humor was replaced by the realization that this kind of thinking goes beyond zoning ordinances and comes under the category of discrimination and limitation of free speech. It's the kind of thing that can give a community a bad name, which is why I haven't mentioned the name of the town in this devotion.
Instead, let me observe the world has devised all manner of means to stop the Gospel from being proclaimed. Some of these prohibitions are threatening and violent. That kind of persecution we see in some of the Islamic countries of the world. But there is also a more subtle set of limitations that can be placed on the sharing of the Savior's story.
So, what can we do?
The church is going to court and their story will be played out later this year in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
So even though we can't change what is happening in a small town in Texas, we can pray for those people and pastors and parishes who find their witness hampered by authorities. As St. Paul encourages, let's let our prayers go up for kings and princes and all those who are in authority.
Let us ask the Lord's Word and His workers be allowed to witness so all men might be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, today I pray for a little church in Texas and churches of all size around the world. May they be allowed to share the Savior's story of salvation so sinful souls might be saved through the sacrifice Christ has made upon the cross. This I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries