The Incapacity of Washington To Govern

Just when you think that Washington can’t get any more messed up than it is, Congress proves a person wrong. Up against terrorist activity all over the globe, with funding for our national security tied to an ideological issue, and with the Mall of America on the short list of targets, (somewhat personal here in Mall of America land), Congress cannot even pass a bill to fund Homeland Security for the next three weeks. Yesterday, we learned that there are active investigations related to terrorism in all fifty states. So, one wonders why is it that anyone would let the safety and well-being of the nation be a political football?

I am clearly not the only person complaining about the incapacity of Washington to govern this county. People on both right and left are dropping comments on newspaper blogs, defending either their political position, or pointing out the ridiculousness of today’s action. I had plenty of caustic comments prepared to add to the narrative until I remembered the apostle Paul had some advice about just this sort of thing. Did he look into the future and see the Washington, D.C. of 2015 and know we needed his words? Or was the political situation just as bizarre in his day? Writing to his young friend, Timothy, he left these words of counsel: “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.” (I Timothy 2:1-3 The Message Bible)

If I’m honest with myself, I know that I have not faithfully prayed for the rulers and governments to rule well. Instead I’ve tended to throw out prayers that God will give our leaders some common sense at each near disaster point in the past few years. But, what would happen if all of us, who call ourselves people of faith, would pray for our leaders. Not that they do what we think is right, but they do what God knows is right. I suspect there are times my view and God’s are not always the same. What if our prayers were simply that each person who has been elected to office would rule well? What if we prayed all of Washington would rule beyond political ideology and let God’s wisdom direct their votes. What if we prayed that each person would see the world as God sees it and act accordingly. What would happen if all of us began to pray with open hearts? Would our minds and hearts change too? We’ll never know, until we start to pray. So, for today, I’ll offer this prayer.

God of us all, bless each of our elected leaders with your wisdom and knowledge. Bless them with insight in resolving the issues we face as a nation. Grant our leaders courage to work across party lines and divisions, to do what is really best for our nation. Let none be beholden to political favors or skewed in mind and heart by donors wishes, but let each one be led by you. Work in our hearts that we too see the world as you do. We pray this for your sake, for the world’s sake and for all the innocents who depend upon your wisdom breaking into the hearts of our leaders. Amen.