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Prayer and Fasting for Marriage

4/10/2015

By: Rev. Pierre Bynum

In Scripture God is called the Shepherd of Israel (Psalm 80:1). Jesus, in John 10:11 calls Himself the Good Shepherd. And in Ephesians 4:11we learn that when Christ rose from the dead, and ascended on high, he gave gifts unto men, among them pastors (the Greek word that literally means shepherds).

Today, as we pray for the institution of Marriage and for the Supreme Court who will rule on a case that will either affirm marriage as Christ affirmed it, as a lifelong covenant union between a man and a woman -- or they will depart from 6000 years of Judeo-Christian Scriptures, religion, history and tradition, and redefine it as something altogether something else. The long term fallout of such departure would mean devastation to future generations of children for whom God intended permanent marriages to be the building block of families who would be the building block of society. He designed marriage perfectly and when it is honored, practiced and treated as it ought, it is the most beautiful thing in the world.

Today, we must pray for pastors across America, the men God gave as gifts, Shepherds to watch out for our souls, not just the particular souls in their local church, but the souls in our communities, our states and our nation and in some measure, the nations. His ministry, like that of his Master, Christ, is to shepherd the sheep: to watch over them, to care for them, and to protect them from dangerous predators, and to lay down his life for them, if need be.

I know a man who has lived in Washington, DC all of his life. He was a Christian in 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution gave every woman a right to take the life of her baby, yet in the womb. That ruling was interpreted to mean at any time up until 9 months or more of gestation and natural birth. We have killed many estimate, 58 million babies in the womb in our country since then. He had seen Harry Blackmun and other members of the U.S. Supreme Court at that time, the mortal men who made the decision in Roe v. Wade. That man repeatedly tells me, "If the pastors of America had risen up as one man, if they had rushed to Washington, DC, with shepherds heart, God's heart; if they had stood with manly courage and said to our elected officials, this evil is not going to take place on my watch, I will not leave this place until this evil ruling has been overturned," we would not have abortion in America today. Fifty-eight million babies would not have died. Another man has said to me, Pierre, if men do not rise early in the day to pray, and to cry out to God for the sins of abortion, given the promises and power of prayer that God has given us, we are as guilty as the abortionist who places the scalpel to the head. That may be extreme, but it makes us think.

Today, we are at another crossroads. Marriage is under threat. We are all responsible. But the pastors have a unique responsibility for this institution because of the unique role in it, both as ministerial official over it and as Shepherd of the flocks of God.

The Pastor and Marriage - Many states require minister to have a license in order to officiate over a marriage. Many have obtained them, had to attest that the married the couple and get the marriage certificate returned to the Courthouse. Every pastor in America has also known the joy of officiating over the marriage between a man and woman. He has recited the words of the marriage service, some hundreds, some even thousands of times. He's experience the unique presence and power of God in the marriage ceremony, and the holiness and solemnity of the moment, as well as the joy and the possibilities of the future. Each has spoken words, perhaps from the most common traditional marriage service in America, which comes from the prayer book, very similar to what George Washington studied incessantly.

Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people.

The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind isintended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.

Into this holy union come this man and this woman now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully bemarried, speak now; or else for ever hold your peace.

Then, after prayers, the vows, the preaching of the word and other ceremonial components, the pastor says, Now that this man and this woman have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of a ring, I now pronounce that they are husband and wife, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, andof the Holy Spirit.

Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.

These final words come from Jesus's instructions to the Pharisees who were arguing over marriage Mt 19:4-6:

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Pray for our pastors today: that they will rise to the occasion of this critical hour:

1) That they will pray themselves, as they have never prayed before in their lives. That they will cry out to God for this covenantal, organic institution that God implanted into the fabric of mankind in the Garden.

2) Pray that they will call their churches to prayer during these final weeks and lead them into aggressive but solemn prayer.

3) Pray that they will preach on prayer and marriage and lead their congregations into crying out to God for His mercy that our Supreme Court will not dare to touch that which God created and anointed. That the fear of God will come upon each Justice.

4) Pray that churches all over America would call their people to pray in groups, conduct round the clock vigils, fasts, solemn assemblies, and telephone conference calls-- all kinds of prayer.

5) Pray that they will not stand idly by but take action to make their elected leaders know that they expect them to take action if this ruling goes the wrong way. Remember the Religious Freedom Reformation Act that was passed by Congress in 1993, was to correct a wrongful Supreme Court decision that had led to the government abuse of citizen religious conscience. This is far bigger and if the Supreme Court does not rule aright men of God must lead the way to resist it.

6) May they lead their people to pray over each Justice, that God will move upon each one to persuade him or her to think and vote aright

7) Pray for your own pastor and pray for pastors across America, that they will arise to their unique role at this moment. The Wolf is at the door. May our pastors be shown to be good shepherds who, when they see the wolf coming, will do what Jesus did!

8) Prayer that denominational leaders, pastors of pastors will arise, lead with urgency and call those whom they serve to likewise arise to the emergency we face, calling them to do what is written here. Many, many pastors have remained aloof form the cultural battles of our day but these are not just "cultural" battles, they are moral and spiritual battle for the soul of our nation that if they are not won on the knees of pastors and their people -- we will enter into a dark night of the soul, the likes of which we have never imagined.

Let us cry out to God!

Rev. Pierre Bynum
Chaplain & National Prayer Director
Email: pbynum@frc.org

Family Research Council
801 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-2100
Fax: 202-393-2134
Web: www.frc.org