Prayers that Receive Answers
Examining Prayers that were Heard and Not Heard in the Republican Ceremonies
We all know that presently we are living in a pluralistic society. Many people think that all religions are equal before God and all prayers are heard by Him. Somehow, we as a society have come to think that if we say we believe in “God” and worship Him in some way, that whoever this God is, He will be pleased to hear and answer our requests. But is this true?
It has not always been this way. Four hundred years ago, Catholics were agreed that God would never hear the prayers of a Protestant—whether Lutheran or Reformed or Anabaptist. In turn, Protestants “knew” that God would not hear the prayer of a Catholic. Beyond this, probably most Lutherans and Calvinists and Anabaptists were convinced that God would not hear the prayers of those beyond their own groups. Additionally, most people “knew” that God would not answer the prayers of “Mohammedans” (Muslims), Jews, Hindus, Indians, or others. Further, if one were to leave a religious group, those who remained were sure that God would refuse to receive the prayers of the apostates. How society has changed over the centuries! Some of the change has been for the good but a great amount has been negative.
As we have said, in the modern world, many people are so Biblically illiterate and devoid of the truth that they just somehow assume that God is favorably impressed with anyone who happens to pray or worship Him according to their individual beliefs and religious connections. You have probably found this to be the case just as I have. As we discuss prayer and worship in society, it would seem that nearly everyone just assumes that God is pleased with our worship and prayer. But is this true?
I was reminded of this when I noticed the praying of religious people at the time of President Trump’s inauguration ceremonies as well as the associated National Prayer Service that is held in Washington, D.C. each year.
The report says that two Baptist preachers were to pray—Jack Graham is preacher at the Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano and Ramiro Pena is a pastor from Christ the King Baptist Church in Waco. Sara Armstrong, the CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee said that Donald Trump would be “humbled to pause and join with leaders from many different faith traditions” in this country! During a private service in the morning of the Inauguration, James Robison of Colleyville prayed for the new President. Further, Euless Pastor Jim Garlow, Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress and televangelist Benny Hinn (a Texas “prosperity gospel” televangelist) prayed for Trump. On Saturday, the day after the inauguration, some 26 different religious leaders were to pray. Not only this, but other religious leaders—from the Islamic faith, Judaism, and the Navajo Nation—were also to pray.
One report says, “the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Bahá’í faiths. The service opened with a Navajo blessing” (npr.org/2017/ 01/ 21/510948923/ trumps-and-pences- attend-interfaith-inaugural- prayer-service). Along with these, the service held in the ultra-liberal Episcopalian Cathedral in Washington, included the pastor of this prominent but very liberal congregation of an extremely liberal denomination: “the Very Reverend Randolph Marshall Hollerith, who’s the dean of the Cathedral, was pointed in his prayer by asking God to ‘break down the walls that separate us.’” Another report says that “Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Baha’i, Navajo, Mormon, Greek Orthodox and many other faiths” were to pray (washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of- faith/wp/2017/01/19/ praying-at-the- inaugural-service-an- imam-a-rabbi-a-hindu- priest-and- an-abundance-of-pastors /?utm_term= .5711385 08cd4). A further report says:
Others come from churches across the country. Christian denominations represented at the jam-packed prayer service include the Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, evangelical churches and several leaders of the Episcopal Church, which hosts the inaugural service every four years in its seat, Washington National Cathedral.
Relatives of two of the most influential American religious leaders in history will participate: Alveda King, who is a niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and an antiabortion activist, and Cissie Graham Lynch, a granddaughter of evangelist Billy Graham. (washingtonpost.com/news/ acts-of-faith/wp/2017/01/19/ praying-at-the-inaugural-service- an-imam-a-rabbi-a- hindu-priest-and-an-abundance- of-pastors/?utm_ term=.571138508cd4)
Here is a shocking listing of those involved:
Here’s the complete list of participants provided by the Presidential Inaugural Committee:
Hon. Carlyle Begay
Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of Washington
Rt. Rev. James B. Magness, Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries
Rev. Randall Marshall Hollerith, Dean, Washington National Cathedral
Cantor Mikhail Manevich
Washington Hebrew Congregation
Rabbi Fred Raskind
Temple Bet Yam, St. Augustine, Fla.
Pastoral Associate, Priests for Life, Atlanta, Ga.
Bishop Harry Jackson
Hope Christian Church, Beltsville, Md.
Priest Narayanachar L. Dialakote
Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, Lanham, Md.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Imam Mohamed Magid
All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center, Sterling, Va.
Pastor Greg Laurie
Harvest Christian Fellowship, Riverside, Calif.
Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Tex.
His Eminence Geron Archbishop Demetrios of America
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Rev. Canon Rosemarie Logan Duncan, Canon of Worship, Washington National Cathedral
Shadow Mountain Community Church, El Cajon, Calif.
Rev. Ronnie Floyd
Cross Church, Springdale, Ark.
First Presbyterian Church, Orlando
Chairman of the Board of Sikh Associations of Baltimore
Soka Gakkai International — USA, Los Angeles
National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States
Cissie Graham Lynch
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Charlotte, N.C.
Pastor Ramiro Pena
Christ the King Baptist Church, Waco, Tex.
Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C.
Roman Catholic Church
Rev. Darrell Scott
New Spirit Revival Center, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Even the Prosperity teacher, Paula White, led the Inaugural Prayer before the Capital building! And don’t forget Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham! Cardinal Dolan, a Roman Catholic, also had his part! Even Fred Raskind, a Jewish leader, has his part!
Further comments are also revealing:
The service will include two Jewish clergy: Cantor Mikhail Manevich from the Washington Hebrew Congregation, a neighbor of Washington National Cathedral, and Rabbi Fred Raskind from Temple Bet Yam in St. Augustine, Fla.
The cantor and the imam’s role in the service will be the call to prayer, which they will lead along with the Rev. Canon Rosemarie Duncan from the cathedral. The rabbi, three pastors and Sajid Tarar, a Muslim man from Baltimore who prayed for Trump onstage at the Republican National Convention, will read biblical passages. (Ibid)
Are You Shocked?
We realize that we are living in an increasingly secularistic nation where religion is being pushed out or at least it receives less of our attention. However, the lineup of those leaders, pastors, priests, rabbis, and others who were to participate in prayer at the time of the Presidential Inauguration does show that many continue to pray and seek God’s blessing on the national politics.
However, if you have followed the foregoing quotations and comments, you may be shocked about the participants. Consider carefully and rationally: Can a Muslim really pray with a Jewish leader? Can a leading Roman Catholic pray with a Baptist? Can a Prosperity teacher pray along with an Episcopalian? Can a Bah’ai leader pray with a Greek Orthodox priest? Can a Sikh pray with a Presbyterian? Can a Mormon pray with a Hindu? Can a Navajo religion’s leader pray with a leader in Calvary Chapel?
Anyone who knows anything about God’s will found in the Bible knows the answer! Most (or all) of these prayers didn’t ascend any further than the ceiling! If God’s Word is true, we know that God doesn’t approve of all of these diverse and contradictory religions. Most (or all) of them are an abomination to a holy God!
The Lord Jesus declared, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men” (Matthew 15:8-9). All of these participants “honor” God (or “a god”) with their mouth, but they all teach as doctrines “the precepts of men”! Would you agree that nearly all of these participants are involved in worship and in religious organizations that God finds to be an abomination? We hope that you will agree. Scripture says, “If I regard wickedness [even religious wickedness] in my heart, the Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18). This says that God “will not hear” the prayers of those who are committed to religious wickedness.
Consider also Proverbs 15. Solomon reminds us that “the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight” (v. 8). If God says that the “sacrifice” of the evil—including the religious “evil”—is an abomination, surely the prayer of such people is also an abomination! Let’s not forget the words of Peter the apostle: “The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12). If we have eyes attuned to Scripture, we know that God only listens to and answers the “righteous” but He refuses to listen to and answer the prayers of “those who do evil”! Can you think of any more evil than those who would lead people away from the truth of Scripture and into false doctrine?
Virtually all of the prayer participants of President Trump’s inauguration (and surrounding meetings and services) are actively engaged in promoting, teaching and advocating false doctrines that lead people away from the sound words of God’s Holy Word! The Lord finds this false teaching and false religion an abomination!
Probably many Republicans think that all of the religious participation of these various religions is a good thing—but we hope that you would agree that this religious “diversity” is not good! Instead of this variety being something good, actually it is disgrace to God and His Word. Instead of promoting the will of God, this prayer fiasco was actually promoting the teachings and will of fallen and sinful man! Instead of advocating the truth of God, these prayers of many religions were in radical conflict with that truth! Instead of urging people to believe in the way of God found in the Bible, it was a way of leading people into a false way.
How would God “hear” the prayer of a Muslim who denies Christ’s death on a cross and His resurrection? How does God “hear” the prayer of a Catholic Cardinal who prays to Mary, “the Mother of God”? How does God “hear” the prayer of a Hindu who says that there are 330 million other “gods”? How does God “hear” the prayer of a feminist Prosperity teacher who says that God wants us “healthy and wealthy”! How would God “hear” the prayer of a so-called “Rabbi” who denies the deity of Christ and refuses to believe that He is the Savior of the world? And yet this conglomeration of religious leaders come together to pray for the new president?
“The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but He loves him who pursues righteousness” (Proverbs 15:9). “The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous” (v. 29). If you happen to be a child of the living God and are walking in love, righteousness, and truth, then your prayers mean something to Him. He delights in your prayers! But He finds the prayers of those who deviate from His word to be detestable!
Now is the time to pray for our new president (Donald Trump) and new vice-president (Mike Pence) as never before! Although President Trump’s background, beliefs, and views may be totally contrary to God’s will found in Scripture, let’s remember that God can work through his administration, just as He worked through the wicked Emperor Nero in the first century (Romans 13:1-6; 1 Peter 2:13-14). Let’s honor President Trump, just as the early persecuted believers were to “honor” Nero (1 Peter 2:17).
Let us heed the words of Paul the apostle: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings [and presidents] and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
We would also urge all of our readers who live in the numerous nations of the world to pray for your own leaders that God would work powerfully to accomplish His will in these various countries—whether England or Rumania, whether Ethiopia or Jordan, whether Brazil or Nigeria, whether Japan or Russia, whether China or Australia. Let us pray, according to the will of God, that God would act. And, further, let us make sure that we are not part of the various religions that God will refuse to hear! The Holy God will only hear the prayer of the righteous, the sincere, and the faithful!