[Note: On Friday, February 18, 2022, Terry Cooper, the pastor of Ninevah Christian Church in Lawrenceburg, KY, and a dear friend to Lamb & Lion Ministries, was asked to offer the opening prayer for the Kentucky House of Representatives. His reflections on that day and an excerpt of his prayer are below.]
Jesus warned us that the last days would bring perilous times… times like have never been experienced in the world before.
“And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”
“There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.” Luke 21:9-11 (NLT)
This is not the time to panic! No, this is the time to pray, to call out to God for help. These world-changing events are bigger than any individual or human government. We need help from God. We should put our hope and trust in God and call upon the name of the LORD.
The Psalmist Asaph said, “Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the glory of your name. Save us and forgive our sins for the honor of your name” (Psalm 79:9 – NLT).
Guided by that passage, here is a portion of the prayer I delivered to the Kentucky House of Representatives:
Blessed are you O Lord, King of the Universe. Blessed are You, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Blessed Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Your Only Begotten Son. Blessed be Your Name.
In prayer, and through the atoning Blood of Jesus we dare to enter Your Presence and call upon Your Name today for help.
Jesus told us that — in His Name — we could ask You, Father, for anything and we could come boldly and confidently with our requests before Your Holy Throne — if we would come by faith in Jesus’ Name.
So today, Father, by faith in Jesus’ Holy Name we ask You for help.
Lord, You told us that if we would confess our sins and repent of those sins, You would forgive us, cleanse us, and bless us. You would help us.
Today, we confess our many sins individually, as a state, and as a nation.
“In God We Trust” is written on our currency and our statehouse walls, but we have not put our trust in You or your Holy Word.
We confess this terrible sin today. We have trusted in many things, many people, but not in You.
Our nation, our people, we are divided more than at any time in my lifetime there is a great division in our land.
Anger, malice, hatred, fear, loneliness, anxiety, and despair are everywhere.
A hopelessness, a spiritual darkness covers our land.
We are looking for answers, looking for help in many places and through many people.
Some are seeking help through political power or political ideologies.
Some are seeking help through violence and intimidation.
Today, in this Kentucky House, we lift our eyes to You for help in the Name of Jesus our Messiah, we lift our eyes to You for help.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV).
We acknowledge today that You alone are the Creator of all things and from You alone comes life and breath.
We acknowledge today that only You can change the human heart.
Only You can give us the ability and the desire to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Only You can unite us. United under You we will stand, divided apart from You we will surely fall.
Only You can restore civility to our political discourse that would enable our state and Federal this government to carry out Your divine purposes and plan for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In God We Trust.
We need your help; we need your Truth, we need your Word to light our way.
We need your help; we need Your Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ to light our way into the future.
We need You. We are all blind without Your Light, we will surely fall without You.
Today, in Jesus’ name I pray that Your Holy Spirit would come upon and into every Representative in this House. Come in power and authority.
Today, in Jesus’ name I pray that every bill, every law that comes from this House will be under Your Divine Authority, Power, and Providence.
I pray that this House will truly be the people’s house — the representative form of government that it was intended to be. Legislators working for the people, representing the people, but never forgetting that our ultimate responsibility and accountability is to the God of Heaven.
For it is before HIM that we will all one day stand. May He, by His Grace and the Blood of Christ, find us all faithful to Him on that last day.
In God We Trust. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today, I encourage the Church to pray and specifically ask God for help. Help us to not be fearful, but to use these perilous times to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the lost and dying world that is living in fear and hopelessness.
In the midst of a time of distress, David wrote: “Help, O LORD, for the godly are fast disappearing! The faithful have vanished from the earth!” (Psalm 12:1 – NLT).
I pray that we will be among the faithful on the last day. Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah, and Amen!