Political Prayer

October 15, 2008

A pastor praying at a John McCain rally urged God to help McCain win since people of other religions are praying for Barack Obama to win (see video below). The pastor apparently thinks this is a test case for God and that some people's faith might be shaken if McCain loses. Here is part of his prayer:

I also would also pray, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god--whether it's Hindu, Buddha, Allah--that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they're going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and election day.
There are many problems with this prayer. The first problem is that there are probably many Christians praying for Obama to win and people of other faiths praying for McCain to win, so the pastor has created a false dichotomy. The second problem is that our faith should not rest upon who wins elections. If someone's faith in God is shaken by McCain losing the election, then are they really believing and trusting in God? The third problem is that such partisan remarks in a public prayer are inappropriate. This attempt to box God into a set partisan mold hurts our democratic process and profanes God. Let us pray that this and other pastors will avoid prayers like this in the future.



Here are a couple of columns I have written that touch on similar problems with politicizing of prayer:
Stop Playing Politics with Prayer
Religious Right Prays for "Good Rain" Over Obama

2 comments

  1. In my opinion, this man isn't praying to God. Instead, he's trying to put the idea in peoples' minds that God wants them to vote a certain way. He's just trying to legitimize it by making it sound like a prayer. This is very similar to when Sarah Palin told her home-town church "I think God's will has to be done, in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that." by implying that she knows it is God's will that a gas pipeline be built.

    Yahweh, Jehovah and Allah refer to the same God. I was raised in Baptist churches. Baptist preachers are keen to tell you that Christians worship the same God as Jews, but very few will tell you that Muslims do too. Until I read the Koran for myself, I wasn't aware that Allah refers to the same God that Christians and Jews worship. A pastor who has presumably been through seminary should know that, and should acknowledge it instead of spreading misinformation that keeps people ignorant.

    The whole "my god is bigger than your god" concern is just too childish for a grown man to be pushing.

    God will be the judge, but this whole prayer looks like a big bunch of blasphemy to me. If I were this pastor, I'd be worried about what warning God about what might happen to His reputation would do to mine!

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  2. I agree that the prayer is not appropriate.

    I do, however, take exception to your statement:

    "The first problem is that there are probably many Christians praying for Obama"

    No spirit-filled, born again Christian would pray for the election of any individual who refuses to stand up for and who promotes the termination of the lives of babies, both born and unborn.

    IHS,

    Bruce
    http://christiansoldiersonline.org

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