“Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:43-44)
Relate: Recently the Supreme Court delivered a verdict on prayer at town board meetings. For years the town of Greece NY would begin each meeting with a roll call, the pledge of allegiance, and then a prayer. To offer up this prayer, the town selected from clergy listed in a local directory. They would simply work their way down the list of local religious groups but because most of these local religious congregations were Christian, the argument was made that this was showing favoritism to Christianity. A lower court agreed but the Supreme Court overturned that decision. They declared that there was no proof of bias and that prayers at local government functions are consistent with American history and tradition. Indeed, the first continental congress began with prayer and the first session of the Senate did the same. In fact, every single session since that time right to this very day has begun with prayer.
Many have viewed this as a victory for Christianity, but is it really? Jewish prayers, Muslim prayers, Hindu and Buddhist prayers are all guaranteed equal representation. I wouldn’t be shocked if certain atheist groups use this verdict to start clamoring for their right to “pray” at local government functions as well. Victory doesn’t come because people have the right to pray at the beginning of government functions. Victory doesn’t come when people have the right to pray at the start of school functions or sporting events. It doesn’t come because someone belts out “God Bless America” at the seventh inning stretch of every baseball game. Victory comes when we begin to exercise our right to get on our knees in our prayer closets and intercede for our friends.
React: Nobody can come to God unless He draws them. No piece of legislation will ever make somebody a Christian. No civil battle or legal precedent will advance the Kingdom of God. Bullying a school board to take evolution out of their science textbooks will do nothing more than paint Christianity as a group of angry, ignorant savages. Culture doesn’t make people Christians and a cultural drift away from what some might view as “Christian values” does not mean the Kingdom of God is receding. The Kingdom of God is still advancing because the Father is still drawing people to Himself. Perhaps it is time for us to stop grumbling about how “Christian” our culture is or is not but rather focus on how Christ like we are instead.
God, I ask You to continue to draw people to Yourself. For my friends, for my family that have not yet come to know You as You are, draw them. Though for some I feel I have been asking You for years, for decades, I know that You are not yet done with them. You long for their reconciliation even more than I do. You are not willing that any should perish. Help me to have the same passion and focus in my prayers and in my life. Help me not to get distracted in cultural battles that ultimately have very little spiritual significance. Instead, help my words, my actions, and my prayers all be used towards removing barriers in others lives so that when You draw them to Yourself there would be no resistance. Let me not ever rest until all are saved.