Seven months ago, Vice President Mike Pence spoke at an event on religious freedom where he was asked for advice about handling political, even personal attacks.
His simple response went viral: Pray more, internet less.
“I would just say maybe a couple of things,” Pence said at a meeting of the conservative legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom. “Number one is spend more time on your knees than on the internet.”
At the moment, the deck seems stacked against us: worldwide pandemic; growing numbers of sick and dying; a nation shut down with fear, ordering its folks to “shelter in place.”
And let us not forget the inevitable fallout of personal and financial tragedies that await us in the aftermath.
In the midst of all this chaos, Pence’s words are more timely than ever: Trust in a higher power.
As conservative political commentator David French recently wrote, “The president of the United States led the American people in prayer on one of the most fateful days in American (and world) history—June 6, 1944.”
“If you haven’t heard Franklin D. Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer,” French continued, “I’d encourage you to listen. It captures the terrible gravity and danger of the moment.”
“The job of a politician, pundit, or activist isn’t just to determine what’s true, but also what’s important.”
Pence and French could not be more correct. The smartest of leaders are those who recognize innately that they do not know it all.
In times of war, they turn to warriors who have fought it. In times of illness, they turn to healers who have cured the sick.
Yet in all times, the wisest leaders understand that conflict coexists with the dread of such matters — a fear that cannot be resolutely confronted by earthly means, be it knowledge, experience or strength.
It takes courage to recognize that it is humility that moors faith and prayer to the importance of reason because reason is simply not enough.
“Prayer then becomes the irrepressible cry of the heart at the times we most need it.”
Prayer goes a step further than mere good will and practical safety measures to protect us and the most vulnerable.
Prayer is an act of humility, an admission that ultimately, we must place our faith in God.
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