News commentary: Annointing Oil and Prayer over American Automobile Industry?

Recently took a stop by and learned of a news article describing an event at a local Detroit church. The article is Titled, “SUVs at altar, Detroit church prays for a bailout.” After reading the article provokes sadness and incredulity.  In reading of the event there are two areas worth commenting on.

     The first area to comment about is that the event  seems to be a turning to God and begging for help in times of trouble approach. Economic times are tough, and the American automotive industry is in peril.  Yet, in the plea for help, there is no turning to God in repentance. There is no self-examination of sin. There is only begging God.   There is a recognition of failed self-effort but it becomes  “so lets turn to God to get what I want since I cannot.” This is demonstrated in this quote from General Holiefield, “We have done all we can do in this union, so I’m going to turn it over to the Lord.”   So apparently the idea is to turn to God to ask for help with what you want from the American government because of an inability to accomplish in own effort.  God is not about granting prayer because we cannot expand or fix things by own effort.  God blesses and helps to bring Glory to His Kingdom, not our own.

Another concern is that these people while exhibiting some hope, are placing hope in the wrong place.  The hope expressed is that God will change the hearts and minds of members of Congress.  Reverend Charles Ellis stated “It’s all about hope. You can’t dictate how people will think, how they will respond, how they will vote. But you can look to God. We believe he can change the minds and hearts of men and women in power, and that’s what we tried to do today.”  When God changes the minds and hearts of people, it is to change their heart and mind toward Him.   Biblically it is clear that when a nation is in times of struggle, that people of God need to do two things, humble themselves and pray  (2 Chronicles 7: 13-14).  Now, Reverend Ellis states “I pray in good times and in bad times, but I pray these days because it’s something that directly affects our lives. Politicians forgot autoworkers for ages. You can’t just forget them. We’re also part of the country.” And I ask, where is the humility in the statement?  Where is the surrender to the King of Kings. The appearance here is one of missing the humility part.  The asking is apparent but James 4:3 is relevant: “When you ask, you do not receive,because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” 

     The thing that really cause head shaking, is that when Congress sees fit to put together a package to assist the automotive industry, this prayer session and anointing SUV’s with oil will seem pivotal.  God though is more interested in what is going on with each individual and desire a turning for our own self-seeking and a turning to Him in humility and surrender, not in demands for him to fix what we broke.