This Sunday is our first day of prayer for the State of Tennessee.
Today we are praying for the following districts:
- Tennessee State House District 1
- Tennessee State House District 2
- Tennessee State House District 3
- Tennessee State Senate District 1
Our call to Prayer
Each day during this call to statewide prayer, we will be sharing a verse about government to guide us in praying. Please read this guide and pray through the scripture that is mentioned. Our commentary is just that – commentary. The word of God stands on its own as a guide to prayer.
An early mention of self-government in the Bible can be found in Deuteronomy.
“Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.”
Deuteronomy 1.13 KJV
In this verse, there are three clear characteristics of “rulers” or, in our current framework of government, elected officials seen.
We have very strong notions about what wisdom is. We associate wisdom with age, the thought being that the accumulation of knowledge and experience of a long life will lead to it. This can be the case, but it is not always so. Consider that “known among your tribes” is translated as “experienced” in the ESV. It is clear that these terms are associated with each other, but they don’t mean the same thing. They are listed separately for a reason.
The book of Proverbs speaks clearly to what wisdom is.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9.10 KJV
One quality of wisdom that we should pray that our candidates and all government officials would have is fear of the Lord.
We see the phrase “beginning.” Without fear of the Lord, you cannot even begin to be wise. Without fear of almighty God, any appearance of wisdom is fake!
Secondly, those who are wise have a spirit of lowliness – humility.
“When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” Proverbs 11.2 KJV
A third quality of wisdom is obedience to God.
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock….” Matthew 7.24 KJV
It has been said that understanding is wisdom with legs.
Job 12.13 “With him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding.” Wisdom comes before understanding. The reason the ESV translates understanding as experience in Deuteronomy 1.13 is that the thought being conveyed between understanding and experience is nearly identical.
We pray thus not only for leaders who are wise, but also for leaders who have done wisely, and thus show understanding.
It is of critical importance that we also pray for the electorate. May God show them which candidates have done wisely!
Known Among Your Tribes
“Tribes” remains common among most translations of Deuteronomy 1.13. The thought here is that those who lead us should understand our communities. It is an especially wicked thing to move to an area just to have power there.
However, residency – tribal affiliation – is not the only point being made by Moses in Deuteronomy 1.13. Placement is not license to rule.
To be known among a tribe means that a person is in involved in the tribe. They are possibly acting in a manner of service. They made be a deacon in a local church. They may have been a reserve police officer. There are many ways to serve. Historically, many of our great leaders have served in the military. These people were literally known among their tribe.
We must pray for leaders who are active in their churches, their school districts, and their communities. These things are all indicators (not to be confused with absolute proof) that a leader is not merely running so that they can serve themselves. A history of serving others is a powerful testimony.
A Prayer for Day 1 of 67 Days of Prayer
Lord, Your name is known in Johnson, Carter, Sullivan, Cocke, Green, Hamblen, and Sevier Counties. Thank you for the strong Christian heritage you have given us.
We ask today that You would bless these districts and all the counties and communities in them once more with leadership that is wise, full of understanding, truly local, and service based.
Father, would you cause a spirit of prayer to well up within the citizenry of Tennessee? Would You cause our state to once more seek Your face? Would you cause us to seek Your will as we vote – but not just in voting Lord, but in our daily lives? Would You move on our hearts and make our homes places of spiritual accountability?