How I Prayed for the Impeachment Trial

I have Christian friends who prayed that President Trump would be acquitted by the Senate.  I also have Christian friends who prayed that President Trump would be removed from office by the Senate.  Which way did I pray?  Neither!

I think both of those prayers were misguided.  Brash statement, I know, but stay with me. You see, I believe those prayers were theologically misguided, Let me explain: One of the foundational truths of the Bible is what we call, free will.  That is, God has gifted to every human being the ability to make choices. 

This teaching begins in Genesis 2 when God created Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden.  Verse 19 says, “Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.”  That is the first recorded instance of a human getting to make choices.   In my own mind, I can picture God nodding his approval at some choices… and laughing at others.  I believe he enjoyed watching the pinnacle of his creation exercising the gift of free will!

But this gift of free will was intended to extend far beyond such relatively trivial topics. Free will also extended to moral choices.  In Genesis 2:16-17, God had said, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”  In Genesis 3:6 we read, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”  They ate from the very tree from which they had been told not to eat.   The All-powerful Creator of the Universe who had forbidden they eat from that tree, certainly could have stopped them from eating from that tree.  But he didn’t.  He could have placed an invisible force field.  Or, more in line with our topic, he could have made them choose not to!  But he didn’t. 

God gave to humanity the gift of free will.  There is no Biblical reason to believe he ever withdrew that gift.  Time and time again we read of God giving commands only to have them disobeyed.  He simply does not make humans do what he wants.  It is true that he sometimes makes it hard to disobey; just read the story of Jonah or the story of Paul on the road to Damascus in Acts 9.  But he doesn’t manipulate minds to force conformity to his will. 

Here’s my point:  To pray that the Senate acquit the President or remove the President was to pray that God would make them vote a particular way.  It would in essence be to pray that God would override their free will.  I think that is misguided praying. 

So how did I pray?  I prayed in keeping with my belief in free will.  I prayed that God would give each senator wisdom, clarity of thought and mind, and that the Spirit would impress upon each of them clear direction as to how they ought to vote. 

When it was time to vote, what they did with that wisdom, clarity of thought and mind, and Spirit-given direction was entirely up to them.  God designed it that way. 

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