Responding to North Korea -- When sabers rattle, Christians pray

When sabers begin to rattle around the world, the Christian community has one principal responsibility: to pray.

I have spent most of my adult life serving Shadow Mountain Community Church in southern California. Because of our proximity to Marine and Navy bases, every weekend we have many members of the armed forces in our congregation.

We know what it’s like to mourn with parents whose heroic children died too soon in war, and we know what it’s like to celebrate neglected soldiers whose sacrifice in wars-long-forgotten have kept us all free and kept America strong. I know the truth of President Reagan’s words: “Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden.”

So, as a pastor in a community well-acquainted with war, it’s always with trepidation that I begin to pray when dictators begin to provoke the United States.

The most important thing that the Christian community in the United States can do at the news of North Korea’s ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead is that we pray –  in our congregations, in our homes, over dinner and at breakfast tables. Pray.

I’m not talking about the simple prayers we say before we lay our heads on our pillows at night. I’m talking about praying with seriousness, with specificity and with fervency that somehow –somewhere – our leaders will find a path toward peace. We must also pray that they will have the wisdom to know exactly when the path toward peace requires an act of war.

Or, in the words of Thomas Jefferson: “I value peace, and I should unwillingly see any event take place which would render war a necessary resource.”

We must pray for the miracle of peace and dread a day when war becomes inevitable. But if war becomes inevitable then we must pray all the more for swift and total victory. In the words of the great Winston Churchill, we must seek “victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.”

Thank God we have a president who conveys strength to the world in the face of the evil that aims to destroy us all. May God grant President Trump and his entire administration the wisdom to lead us into security and prosperity for future generations.

The best and surest thing that Christians in America can do now is to pray.