Posted by Richard S. Lytle, Ph.D. in Blogs
At this year’s National Prayer Breakfast in our nation’s capital, without deference to current ideology on either side of the aisle, I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude to God for His provision for our nation since its inception. For many great leaders in our nation’s history who gave their lives to secure our protection, prosperity, and provide for the common good – I give thanks. For countless individuals in my own life who were lighthouses of faith and excellence, providing me encouragement to lead and serve – I give thanks.
Sitting next to my gratitude was a stirring in my soul for a nation adrift. A nation whose national conversation currently includes what was once incomprehensible – to consider the legal and elevated national idea of moral excellence in declaring it “good” to kill a baby once delivered from its mother’s womb. The words of Thomas Jefferson entered my mind:
God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. That his justice cannot sleep forever…
Perhaps as a result of God’s goodness seen in our global prosperity and advanced intellectual achievement, we have become complacent and self-elevated. We are admonished by the words of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, in this regard:
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God…. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us.
For YOU who lead and serve each day, PRAY to the God who made you. Pray for wisdom from above. You are anointed to be difference makers, river crossers, and wall builders! You are chain breakers, culture shapers – with a divine appointment by God to advance His Kingdom. You are stewards of this civilization. Don’t be too proud to pray!
YOU have been given His grace and truth to lead and serve in a world full of brokenness. You have the capacity and platform to stand in the gap for our nation; to be a blessing to thousands upon thousands of employees, shareholders, and customers throughout the world.
Your influence is truly global. In our last SLI core class, we asked each of the 19 CEOs in the class to provide numbers on how many employees they each serve and how many customers, vendors, shareholders, etc. were influenced by their products and/or services. Our easel total came to 21,300 employees and 2.1B customers influenced. If you doubt the math skills of your colleagues in CEO Forum, then let’s halve the customer number, then halve it again, then halve it again, bringing the number to 250,000,000 customers – about 70% of the US population! I know these customer number counts are not independent, but they do represent a remarkable number of “touches” of influence on 21,300 employees and millions of customers.
Your position of leadership matters! It matters to God and it matters to your people and this nation! Eternal influence, for good or evil, is always the result of one fundamental choice in your daily decision making. God set this choice before us long ago:
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you, life and death, blessing and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life!” (Deut. 30:19).
Would you join Jeanne and I in 40 days of prayer for our nation? The prophet Isaiah said it well so many years ago – the nation that does not stand on faith does not stand at all.
God be merciful to us all,