Question: I just read about how Governor Perry's prayer meeting got started. [I had never] heard of the New Apostolic Reformation [NAR] but for the last two years, I have seen and felt the need for Christians to pray for the "church" to come to repentance....I do not see or hear any other "Christian Leaders" or shall I say, "Berean" leaders, taking the stand or sounding the trumpet in Zion. I was blessed by seeing such a diverse group of people coming together to call upon the mighty Name of our Almighty God, humbling themselves, fasting, repenting, praying, asking God to have mercy on our nation. If there was ever a time in history that Christians should be coming together and calling on God to have mercy upon us, it is now!
Response: We couldn't agree more regarding the need to pray for the church and for God's mercy upon our country, especially as we see the church drifting away from the Scriptures and our country turning against the God of the Bible and His truth. However, our prayers will be futile at best if we are praying for something that is opposed to God's will, or with those whose objective is contrary to what the Bible teaches.
Governor Perry of Texas is, wittingly or unwittingly, participating in prayer with those who have a false biblical eschatology. The New Apostolic Reformation preaches dominionism. They believe that Christians must take control and establish dominion over this world before Jesus can return to this earth. It may be that Perry is ignorant of the NAR objectives and thought it good to pray for the well-being of our country with those whom he considers Christians, or his involvement may have been a political move to garner Christian votes. We doubt that he's a part of the NAR movement, but we don't know.
Much of what passes for prayer these days is an attempt to get God to do man's will and meet what many Christians believe constitutes success. More often than not the criteria is pragmatic and usually quantified in terms of numbers. That's not the biblical way: for 120 years, Noah prayed, preached, and warned of coming judgment, though in the end only eight people took shelter in the ark. According to Scripture, we are to preach the gospel of God's grace and bring people to a saving knowledge of Christ.
More than 50 years ago, A.W. Tozer wrote, "Pragmatism Goes to Church," in which he sarcastically stated, "It is useless to plead for the human soul, to insist that what a man can do is less important than what he is. When there are wars to be won, forests to be cleared, rivers to be harnessed, factories to be built, planets to be visited, the quieter claims of the human spirit are likely to go unregarded. The spectacular drama of successful deeds leaves the beholder breathless. Deeds you can see. Factories, cities, highways, rockets are there in plain sight, and they got there by the practical application of means to ends. So who cares about ideals and character and morals? These things are for poets, nice old ladies and philosophers. Let's get on with the job."
You ask, where are the legitimate ministries (Berean leaders) who are taking a stand for the Lord? They are individuals who are seeded throughout society. The Christian principles that influenced the founding of this nation did not come via "Christian activism" such as we're seeing today. On the contrary, it was the preaching of the gospel by Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, the Wesleys, and others, that was used by the Lord to redeem men and women, whose transformed lives impacted society in the Great Awakening.
Should a Christian participate in politics? As citizens of this nation, we can affect its course to a certain extent by prayerfully voting for the best candidate we can. As citizens of heaven, we realize that the only real hope for our nation lies with our Lord. We may become partakers of a politician's deeds because of the effect that his decisions and actions will have on our country. When a nation falls into captivity due to its evil behavior, all inhabitants are certainly affected (Mt 5:45). Our responsibility is to "preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine" (2 Tm 4:2).