Thursday, May 31. Day 5 of 67 Days of Prayer
Today we are praying for the following districts:
- Tennessee State House District 13- Currently represented by Eddie Smith
- Tennessee State House District 14 – Currently represented by Jason Zachary
- Tennessee State House District 15 – Currently represented by Rick Staples
- Tennessee State Senate District 5 – Currently represented by Lt. Governor Randy McNally
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.
“for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Romans 13.4 KJV
Allow us to start with an observation that is not intended to be insultingly simple: In a secular system, legislators write law and legislators establish consequences for breaking the law. Of course, the Lord uses this all for His purposes.
We see above in Romans 13.4 several ways which God uses the civil magistrate:
- To minister to his people for good.
- To cause those who do evil to be afraid.
- Bear the sword (If you do not bear the sword in vain, you bear the sword)
- As a minister of God
- As a revenger to execute wrath on evil doers.
This is one of the hardest verses in scripture to take at face value, and yet as the word of God, we must do so.
Thankfully for me, the writer, we are discussing the role of a Biblical government. We are in our second day of discussing looking at each of the tasks and roles in Romans 13.4 in their most ideal form. We will pray for the Lord to raise up leaders, current and new, to fill these roles.
To cause those who do evil to be afraid
“But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain…”
Contrast the above with Acts 25.11.
“For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.” Acts 25.11 KJV
The Apostle Paul, who himself was imprisoned regularly and who knew he could face death at the hands of the Roman legal system, also wrote that those who do evil should be afraid of the civil magistrate as they didn’t carry their sword in vain. It would be used; it should be used.
Capital punishment is a tool that must be guarded. It is a tool that scripture demands be used. Consider God’s command to Noah in Genesis 9.6, given before the law of Moses:
Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. Genesis 9.6
Many well intentioned people argue against the death penalty. Some of these arguments are better than others (all are addressed in God’s law). A common argument is that Christian’s can’t support the death penalty because even murderers are Imago Dei (image bearers; made in the image of God). Genesis 9.6 destroys this argument. Almighty God says directly that since man is made in His image, murderers must receive capital punishment.
We need leaders who will not bear the sword in vain.
A Prayer for Day 6 of 67 Days of Prayer
Lord, Your name is known in Anderson, Loudon, and Knox counties. Thank You for the strong Christian heritage You have given to Your people in these areas.
Father, you have said in Romans 13.4 that government will “beareth not the sword in vain.” Help us to choose leaders who would support proper punishment for crimes, including capital punishment. Lord, may we choose leaders who make those who do evil be afraid.”
For those citizens in our state who should be afraid of government, we ask that they would repent and follow You.
Once more we ask: 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?
Please click here to download a printable guide of when to pray for each district. Please feel free to email this to other praying Christians, to insert this in your church bulletin, or to post it on your church bulletin board. Make sure you put a copy on your refrigerator or in another prominent place in your home. This guide may be freely reproduced as long as it is not modified.