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1 Timothy 2:1-2

Prayer Responsibility

I did so in an unorthodox way at the baccalaureate service at Roberts Wesleyan College in late spring 1990. Not wanting to embarrass the faculty and administration seated in the choir loft behind me, I excused them from participating. Then I asked everyone else to stand. “I am putting you on your honor,” I said. “When I mention a political position for which you have a prayer responsibility, silently determine if you know that official’s name. If not, please be seated.”

I began with the president. Fortunately no one sat down. but embarrassment colored a few cheeks when I moved on to the governor. Casualties continued to mount when I mentioned “one U.S. Senator from your state.” Naming “the other senator from your state” brought real downward movement. By the time I asked about “the Congressperson who represents your district,” only about 25 percent of the audience remained standing. Had I named the sixth and seventh who should have been on that prayer list—their state senator and state representative—not more than one in twenty would have remained on his or her feet.

It doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to draw some deductions from this demonstration. If Christian people do not know the names of those whom they elect, it follows that they have not been interceding for them—and that they are disobeying their Lord.

I had one further point to make with the audience that day at Roberts Wesleyan. As I wrapped up my demonstration, I said softly to those still on their feet: “If you have not prayed for each of these at least once since the beginning of this year, please be seated.” One man, and one man only, continued to stand.

Winning the New Civil War, Robert P. Dugan, Jr., pp. 54-55

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