Governor Rick Perry spoke at The Response, a prayer meeting held at the Houston Reliant Stadium, without introduction. I watched the Internet live video stream.
News stories said that the big screen only noted, “Rick Perry, Austin, TX.” This was the same sort of identification given the rest of the speakers. There’s a news story and video montage here, at the Austin American Statesman.
There was nothing political in his talk, just prayer, testimony and reading from the Scriptures in Joel, Isaiah, and Ephesians. And he gave a good testimony.
News coverage also said that he had asked the American Family Association, Reverend James Dobson (founder of Focus on the Family), John Hagee (of San Antonio’s Cornerstone Church) and other groups to organize this meeting long before the media began playing up his name as a possible Presidential contender in 2012.
As I watched the video, I followed the chatter on Twitter (mostly #theresponse, some of the #theresponseusa messages). Maybe 2/3 or more of the messages were from nonbelievers who spent nearly the whole 7 hours mocking the proceedings. The messages were filled with hate and profanity – while claiming that it is Christians who hate. Some of the worst hate messages came during the prayers for Israel.
What a shame – but at least they watched all day, so I won’t call it a waste of their time!
I’m afraid that many of the Internet audience does not understand our motive for praying. Yes, we do ask for help, protection and forgiveness. But the main reason we pray is our gratitude and wish to be one with our Creator and Saviour God. I wasn’t raised to dance, clap or make showy prayers with my hands in the air, but I appreciate that the people I saw online appeared to be genuine and consistent in their acts of worship.
The protesters online, in Austin, and in Houston claim that the evangelicals represented “hate groups” and a religion that excludes most Americans. Well, they’re wrong. Christianity has some basic rules of conduct, but no one is excluded. It’s not as though we check your pedigree or believe that Christ requires years of study and onerous tasks before you can become a Christian. John 3:16 pretty much tells you what to do, Romans 5:8 tells you why He died for us, and Ephesians 3:14 -21 explains what we were doing today.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Rom 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephesians 3:14 – 21 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
Eph 3:21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.