The ones in which I am speaking the word of the Lord, ministering to, encouraging, and praying for... Donald Trump. I might be his trusty sidekick that goes with him everywhere and gives him my thoughts and observations. Or I am writing him letters that are expedited to a special address where he gets the mail he is actually going to read.
Before he was elected, I had a dream that he was the president, and he was sitting in a crowded room wearing a prayer shawl with Israeli symbols on it, praying. His aids were moving about him giving sound advice. They were wise, polite, of quiet manner.
I have to tell you, everything about these dreams makes me SQUIRM!
I am not a Trump supporter. Once he got past the first few primaries (when I still thought this was a ludicrous joke), I looked on in horror. It seemed to me like Biff from Back to the Future was getting his alternative future dream.
I think the man is cruel, unjust, arrogant, mean, self-absorbed, and foolish. A bully. Known for his ill-treatment of people who worked for him, refusal to pay what he owes. Holds himself up by seeking praise and adoration at cheering rallies, rips apart those who disagree. I could go on and on... but suffice it to say, I do not like the man. The same goes for most of the people I've observed surrounding him.
But here we are. He's the president. What do these dreams mean?
I think they are about prayer.
We have this fixation in our culture that praying for someone involves asking God to bless them, heal them, etc. We think the idea of, for example, a "presidential prayer team," is going to be a group of the president's most ardent and passionate supporters, thanking God for that president, talking together excitedly about how happy they are that God has put a person like that in power, a person that embodies all the platforms they stand on.
I'd have a reeeeeeeaaaalllly hard time going to a prayer meeting like that.
But Jesus says "pray for your enemies, and bless those who persecute you."
I'm going through a little phase of prayer renewal right now. The kids are all at school and I'm at home by myself so I can indulge in the kind of prayer I like best- pulling a chair up next to mine, inviting Jesus to sit in it, and talking to Him. Conversation. Listening. Talking out loud through what I think He is telling me, asking Him questions, crying, yelling, whatever happens to be on my agenda for the day.
This morning, another one of those pesky dreams prodded me with the need to pray for President Trump and this whole sordid affair with the Kavanaugh nomination. I don't have good feelings toward Kavanaugh either, as you probably guessed.
I am so glad the Holy Spirit jumped in to lead me how to pray, because I had nothing. Yesterday I read John 9, the story of Jesus healing a man who had been physically blind from birth, and when he could see, wow, could he see. Not just physically, but spiritually. Recognizing who Jesus was being from God was a no-brainer to him. The story ends with Jesus telling the angry, critical, self-righteous Pharisees that actually *they* are the ones who are blind.
Then the conversion story of St. Paul recorded in the Book of Acts came to mind. That man was as cruel, arrogant, boastful, and self-righteous as they come. Jesus appears to him in the middle of his plans to go arrest and throw Christians in jail, and strikes him blind. Three days later he is directed to the house of a Christian man, who prays for him and his physical sight is healed- and his spiritual eyes are opened for the first time. He had been spiritually blind from birth.
As these things came into my mind, I started to pray for Trump and Kavanaugh. That Jesus would meet them in the same powerful way. That He would reveal their blindness to them, and shock them with sight. For a spirit of humility to overcome them and shake them to their core. For us all to see this happen, as a nation, and give glory to God for his mighty deeds in the hearts of humans. For public confession, wailing, and grief over their sins, and true repentance. That if, in fact, the accusations against Kavanaugh are not true, that it would be made obvious and his accusers would be overcome with humility and repentance (I personally don't think the accusations are false, but I'm not God, either, so...). For "justice to roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." (Amos 5:24)
Do you know what it says right before that well-known Amos verse? "Take away from me the noise of your songs: to the melody of your harps I will not listen." I feel like to attend a presidential prayer breakfast of donuts and coffee and lauding the president for his "pro-life stance" would be that kind of noise. No, there are different prayers to be praying for our leaders in our time. Prayers that can only be answered by the one who can change human hearts and minds. Jesus is the only one that can make our president put on sackcloth and ashes and wail over his sins, his treatment of women, his arrogance, his blindness, his lies and cheating others. Jesus is the only one that can make Kavanaugh (if it's true) confess what he has done publicly and beg forgiveness from the women he has wronged. Jesus is the only one who can open the eyes of those who go on about "boys will be boys" and let rapists off the hook.
God, shock and awe us with the work only You can do in the hearts of our leaders. Make them into men and women of humility and wisdom, ready to confess their sins, passionate about truth and justice, risking their lives and political careers to be truthful in all things and to expose lies and corruption. Do the cleansing work in our hearts as a nation that only you can do, to pursue truth and goodness and put away devotion to idols of political parties or ideas. Without You doing this work in all of us, we are lost, doomed, and none of the ideals we seek for our country will ever come to pass.
Take away from me
the noise of your songs:
to the melody of your harps
I will not listen.
But let justice roll down like waters
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Author's Note: I'm adding this note one day later- I have something I want to add for clarity in case it wasn't clear what those dreams have to do with prayer, I believe they were generally pointing me in the direction of the ideal to pray to for. My attitude towards our current political situation has been rather hopeless and complainy, wishing somehow it would all just go away. These dreams convict me and urge me to pray for something much greater.