When the Civil War began, newspapers gave President Lincoln all kinds of advice. On one such occasion, a New York newspaper correspondent met with Lincoln and proposed yet another plan for conducting the war. For a while, Lincoln listened patiently, and then according to Paul F. Boller, author of “Presidential Anecdotes,” Lincoln told the reporter the following story:
"Some years ago, there was a gentleman traveling through Kansas on horseback. There were few settlements and no roads and he lost his way. To make matters worse, as night came on, a terrific thunderstorm arose and peals of thunder and flashes of lightning shook the earth and momentarily illuminated the scene. The terrified farmer finally got off his horse and began to lead it along as best he could by the flickering light of the lightning flashes. All of a sudden, a tremendous crash of thunder brought the man to his knees in terror and he cried out: 'Oh Lord! If it's all the same to you, give us a little more light and a little less noise.'"
Nearly all have an idea how our government should conduct business, but many among this blessed nation are concerned with only their rights. Clamoring for personal opinions to become law, groups with big and boisterous bandwagons have trumpeted special causes --from saving an endangered toad to aborting a child.
A friend prayed in a public prayer, "Lord, be a light to our path and a lamp to our feet. You didn't promise that we could see all the way to the end of the tunnel, but give us enough light for today." If more of us sought God's guidance for America, perhaps the fireworks would fizzle and the noise level would drop, and we’d see more clearly.
I find The Presidential Prayer Team’s weekly guidelines both helpful and a reminder to pray for our nation. This organization remains devoted to seeking God's blessing for government officials -- President Obama and others. The Presidential Prayer Team wants to enroll one percent of the U. S. That’s about 2.3 million to commit to pray daily for politicians to step up and lead our nation in godly paths. You can sign up for weekly updates and prayer assignments on their web site: www.presidentialprayerteam.com
The festive noise on this Independence Day will be a good sound. However, it will die down and the privilege of living, working, and worshiping in freedom can fade into the background of ordinary days. You can be a leader in this nation even though you’ll never rule from the Oval Office. Lincoln's wisdom story offers the key for prayer-leaders, in quiet and humility, to seek our nation's success as we pray for illumination and a God-lighted path.
Hunger for Humility (26): “God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne” (Psalm 47:8).