A pastor sent an urgent message to his congregation asking them to please pray for God to heal him. He had a toothache!! In the midst of all the suffering, pain, and problems that no doubt plague his people, and most certainly exist in this world of ours, he asks his troubled people to pray for the healing of a toothache? Such antics give me a headache. I’m not asking you to pray for God to heal my headache, but I would suggest that if you are going to pray, pray for something more critical than either a toothache or a headache.
In 1956, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a speech (“Facing the Challenge of a New Age”) said that we could speed up the new age by developing “intelligent, courageous and dedicated leadership.” “This,” he said, “is one of the most pressing needs of the hour.” It remains the most pressing need of this hour!
King went on to say, “The urgency of the hour calls for leaders of wise judgement and sound integrity—leaders not in love with money, but in love with justice; leaders not in love with publicity, but in love with humanity; leaders who can subject their particular egos to the greatness of the cause.”
So, may I suggest this morning that if we are going to pray (and I think praying is a good thing) then let us pray for something far more critical than the healing of a toothache. Let’s pray:
“God give us leaders!
A time like this demands strong minds, great hearts,
true faith and ready hands;
Leaders whom the lust of office does not kill;
Leaders whom the spoils of life cannot buy;
Leaders who possess opinions and a will’
Leaders who have honor; leaders who will not lie;
Leaders who can stand before a demagogue
and damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall leaders, sun crowned, who live above the fog
in public duty and private thinking.” (Holland)