Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions.
- Proverbs 18:2
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
- Matthew 7:13-20
“In the summer of 1787, the Constitutional Convention was on the verge of total failure. The issue was whether small states should have the same representation as large states. As America’s Founders struggled to work out the details, egos and tempers flared. The atmosphere was thick with division and conflict. Then 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin slowly rose to address George Washington, the president of the convention, and his fellow delegates. Franklin understood how crucial moral and biblical virtues would be to this new republic. He referred to Psalm 127:1 when he said, ‘I have lived a long time and am convinced that God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it.”’
“Then Franklin suggested that they begin each session with prayer led by a clergy member.
“God answered their prayers and on September 17, 1787, the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, the greatest political document ever written, was completed. And to this day, all legislative sessions are opened with prayer. Franklin’s words remain true as America’s leaders continue to face today’s political, moral and spiritual issues.
“The Lord is the only source of true wisdom. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and heart as you seek His guidance through prayer and Scripture.“
- Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
There is one more Scripture reference other than in Matthew 7 that sort of connects grapes to thornbushes, in that in Hosea 2:6, God uses thornbushes to separate the people of Israel (Hosea’s unfaithful wife) from their source of clothing, food and drink.
I haven’t quoted from the Presidential Prayer Team devotions in some time. On 31 January, I got an e-mail that the site was down for repair, and it took a month. I wondered what the first devotion would be after the break, and I was not disappointed. I think that I may have used this quote, or a similar one, before.
The liberals can change the history books. They can scoff at Benjamin Franklin not being a pure Christian, some thinking him a Deist instead, but his faith in God was strong enough to stand up before the Constitutional Convention and demand that prayer be the first priority before any decision making.
With those who openly demand that God not be a part of any modern-day governmental proceedings, do they not attend the morning prayers or do they play music on their headphones to drown them out or do they simply ignore them? Listening to the pray would be hypocritical on their part. Then again, if you listen to their speeches, there are so many obvious contradictions, ignoring a prayer would be very small compared to everything else.
But, Benjamin Franklin was prophetic. He got prayer established and the log jamb of political ideas was cleared, because everyone had the thought of doing their job with God looking over their shoulder. Within those who believe, that makes a difference.
That thought is a good reason for morning prayers. If we start the day with Bible study and prayer, we have God on our mind and our day starts off on the right foot. People have complained to me that they don’t have time in the morning, and they think prayer at night is fine. No one thinks that they can set an alarm earlier, but their time to bed is usually an easy thing to vary. But what is the prayer when they pray at night? Could it be: “God, what I did today cannot be changed. Oh, well, better luck next time!” But asking God to guide you at the beginning of the day preempts the need for the ‘oh, well’ at the end of the day – if what you pray is from the heart in total commitment and belief in Jesus.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.