There was a win…for God never loses!
A sharply divided Phoenix City Council voted 5-4 Wednesday to stop having an opening prayer at city council meetings and elected to observe a “moment of silent prayer,” a move that blocks a representative of a Tucson-based Satanists group from giving the invocation at its February 17 formal meeting.
Followers of the Satanic Temple, a group promoting religious agnosticism, had been scheduled to give the prayer at the council’s Feb. 17 meeting. News of the planned satanic invocation became public last week and went viral almost instantly. Council members said constituents and others inundated them with a variety of passionate comments.
That outrage came full circle Wednesday as more than a hundred people filled seats at the council’s meeting, many opposing the satanic invocation. The emotional testimony went on for more than two hours.
While we are saddened that the well-intentioned “tradition” of opening city council meetings with a prayer of “invocation” was replaced with a “moment of silence,” maybe God, in His wisdom, allowed the door to shut to protect our mayor and city council members in their duties of overseeing our city. The scripture reminds us that “death and life are in the tongue…” and “through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed” (Proverbs 18:21 &11:11). I believe, for now, God shut the mouth of the lion.
We need never to forget, that prayer cannot be silenced, not in schools, city council meetings – nor anywhere. Prayer is a precious and powerful gift from God that no man can stop. For the present time, we can fill the city council chambers every day they are in session with godly intercessors who can pray God’s wisdom, favor and protection over our mayor and council members according to 1 Timothy 1:1-3. Nevertheless, for now, the door is shut to groups coming in and inviting the demonic to guide city council decision-making and policy.
We thank God also that the Christian community is becoming more awakened to the spiritual condition of our cities, state, and nation. We are becoming aware of the spiritual battle that rages over policy and lawmaking. If there is a void, someone will fill it – will believers in Christ, empowered by Him fill this void? City council meetings are open to the public. Consider how effective it would be for two or three Christians armed with an effectual and fervent prayer to attend and quietly pray during council meetings.
The decision to stop public invocations is not set in concrete – this is not a sprint but a marathon. As the spiritual climate becomes more in line with Biblical values, policies and laws will also change for good and the doors will once again be open to invoke publicly the help of Almighty God (Prov. 29:2).
Three things will bring about this change – our prayers to Almighty God to turn our lives and culture toward Him, to engage in society with Biblical values and godly character, and not neglect to exercise our right to VOTE for godly leaders (Exodus 18:21).
- Give thanks to the Lord for shutting the door to the Satanist group on February 17th.
- Remember, what the enemy means for evil, God turns for good. Ask God to make known His goodness and mercy that men and women in our government will turn wholeheartedly to HIM (1Tim 2:1-3).
- Ask God to reveal to HIS people the path towards restoring godly government (Prov. 29:2).
- Pray for the Phoenix City Council members by name and ask God to work in and through them to move in unity and godly wisdom in all things concerning the City of Phoenix.
- Praying for believers to arise all over the state of Arizona and the nation and take their appointed place on the wall as God’s watchmen both to guard over their cities and rebuild their walls and gates.