Judging by the October issue of Charisma magazine, prayer and politics are being increasingly joined for many charismatic Christians as they enter the election season.
The issue is devoted to the topic of praying for America, but it is noteworthy how prayer is linked with political concerns relating to the 2012 elections. While publisher Stephen Strang writes that America’s problems have spiritual roots, he sees the crisis in terms of an “all-out attack on our Christian values in the culture and even in government. We now have a president who seems to be moving toward some form of European socialism.” Much of the issue of Charisma looks back to the Washington for Jesus prayer rally in 1979 as the inspiration for a similar kind of prayer movement needed for an even more secularized nation.
One major gathering seeking to recreate the earlier event is the America for Jesus rally held in late September in Philadelphia. Jonathan Cahn, a Jewish Christian author best known for his prophetic best-seller, The Harbinger, writes that unlike Ronald Reagan being the answer to the earlier prayer gathering by his revitalising of America in the 1980s, the presidency of Barack Obama represents more of a judgement against the country and its role as a “leading super-power.”
An article by Tommi Femrite portrays America as becoming a “Satanic stronghold,” because every facet of the country—family, gov-ernment, religion, business, education, media and entertainment—has “drifted farther and farther away from God’s standards.” As one example of this decline, she writes that “Politicians are mocked and rebuked for uttering Jesus’ name in public, and our current president has already declared that America is no longer a Christian nation.” Femrite draws on the “seven mountain” theme that has become influential in the apostolic movement in the U.S., which seeks to restore New Testament practices and leadership to today’s church.
This teaching holds that the “seven mountains” represent the seven spheres of society mentioned above that the Christian is called on to seize and transform. Instead of using prayer to petition God for change, Femrite writes that Christians are called to engage in prayer as an intercession in declaring God’s rule over society.
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