I Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Romans 16:19 “For your obedience is come abroad unto all men.  I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.”

Numbers 11:1 “And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.”

Philippians 2:14-15 “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”

Sometimes Christians are master complainers.  From our precious perch on the top of our ivory tower, we complain about the sinfulness of the world around us.  We complain about our fragile society; we complain about our flagging nation; we complain about our fallible leaders.  Often these leaders are the recipients of our strongest condemnation.  While our words of harsh critique may be accurate, our spirit, our priorities, and our hearts are definitely not.

Instead, we must pray for our society, our nation, and our leaders.  It should be the principle and defining characteristic of our interaction with these institutions and individuals.  How can we pray without ceasing if we never cease to complain?  How can we be wise unto the good when we constantly lament the evil?  How can we properly tackle our Christian responsibilities for impact as God-placed and ordained individuals if we only complain, and murmur, and dispute?  How can we shine as lights in a dark world if our witness to a crooked and perverse nation is shrouded in negativity and pessimism?  How can we preach about society’s shortcomings if we don’t pray for its strength and its salvation?  How can we expect successful leadership in the state house, the court house and the school house if we don’t support them through prayer from our church house and from our own homes?

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR LEADERS AND OUR INSTITUTIONS FAR MORE THAN YOU MURMUR AND COMPLAIN ABOUT THEM.  Though our prayer closets, we can shine as lights in the world far more than we can flaming about the darkness around us.