What must it be like to be accused of something you did not do? To be accused of doing evil when you’ve done nothing wrong? To have powerful leaders plotting to take you down, when you are an innocent force for good?
There are some today in America, and perhaps where you live, who no doubt understand this feeling right now. But they can take comfort that they are not alone, and this is not a new story.
Acts 3 – 4 recorded just such a moment in the lives of Peter and John, disciples of Jesus. Sometime after Jesus died, arose back to life and ascended to Heaven, they were entering the temple to attend a meeting. They saw the beggar outside who had been crippled from birth. His life’s work was to spend every day begging to survive.
Peter, realizing he had no money to give the man, said this to him instead, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” Then Peter grabbed him by the hand and pulled him up. The scripture says the man jumped up and began walking and leaping!
As amazing as that was for all who experienced and witnessed it, the leaders in Jerusalem – all leaders, both government and religious – were not pleased whatsoever about the good fortune of the man. In fact, instead they were livid that Peter and John dared to preach about Jesus, much less heal in His name.
The truth was the leaders were terrified they were losing power, and they were correct. People were converting to Christianity daily, by the thousands! It was like a wildfire spreading far beyond their control, and they knew it.
Instead of considering the claims of Christ might be true, they plotted to silence it, to end its influence. They held a meeting and confronted Peter and John. “Who put you in charge here? What business do you have doing this?”
Acts 4 tells us that “Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: ‘Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we have nothing to hide.”
They contined to boldly proclaim Christ, that the healing happened only because of His name. They spoke powerfully and eloquently. And the group gathered there couldn’t take their eyes off of them! These weren’t even educated men, yet they spoke with knowledge and conviction as if they were the most respected scholars.
On top of it, the healed man was there with them. What could they say?
But, did they give up and admit their defeat? Sadly, no. Acts goes on to reveal the leaders sent Peter and John out of the room and schemed and planned threats to silence them.
When Peter and John returned, they warned them to never speak of Jesus again. Peter and John spoke up in defiance. “We can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard.”
The leaders kept threatening them, but having no reason to hold them, let them go. Acts says, “they couldn’t come up with a charge that would stick…”
And the people wouldn’t have tolerated it! Because the people were praising God for the miracle, for the man who had been healed after over forty years crippled!
The passage goes on to say when Peter and John’s friends heard the story, they burst into a song of praise:
“Strong God, You made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. By the Holy Spirit You spoke through the mouth of Your servant and our father, David:
Why the big noise, nations? Why the mean plots, peoples? Earth’s leaders push for position, meet for talks, the God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers!”
They also recalled another time:
“Herod and Pontius Pilate with nations and peoples, even Israel itself!—met in this very city to plot against Your holy Son Jesus, the One You made Messiah, to carry out the plans You long ago set in motion. And now they’re at it again!
Take care of their threats and give Your servants fearless confidence in preaching Your Message, as You stretch out Your hand to us in healings and miracles and wonders done in the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”
Readers, let’s bring this story home today. This blog is primarily about praying and fasting for America. So, let’s apply the principles here to what is happening right now in American politics.
We have a lot of accusing going on now in Washington. In particular, a man with a stellar reputation and career, Brett Kavanaugh, stands in the face of accusations having to defend his honor and reputation against claims of an incident over 30 years ago. His family and supporters have been threatened. The accuser doesn’t have corroborating witnesses, evidence, or even details.
Over 220 friends and colleagues of many decades have stood up to defend Kavanaugh, most women. Sixty-five of those are female friends from high school, the time when the accuser said he attacked her at a party.
Conversely, not a single witness named by his accuser can verify her story, have no recollection he even attended the party in question. Close friends of the accuser say she never spoke of it before, and on top of it her claims have changed since they were first told.
Still, as average citizens from a distance, we must admit we don’t have all the facts. But, until more are provided, if they exist, we will presume him innocent as our law directs.
If as suspected, this situation is a plotted attack for political gain on an innocent man with nothing to hide, then we must pray that just as Peter and John were delivered from the plots of scheming leaders, so will Justice Kavanaugh be delivered. In other words, we pray he is set free from false accusations of scheming women and men who wish only to stop his appointment and influence on the highest court in the land.
We at Faith and Fasting are praying and fasting today to this end, and ask all who are physically able, to join us. Jesus told the disciples long ago that some attacks from hell cannot be stopped unless we are praying and fasting. (Mark 9:29)
So, in fasting and prayer now, let’s call on Heaven’s power:
God in Heaven, Jesus Christ, praise Your holy name! The name by which miracles are done, people are set free, and leaders and nations stand at attention.
Thank You that Your message could never be silenced and instead spread throughout the world, bringing divine truth and justice wherever it prospered. You enable Your people, when we are surrendered and filled with Your Spirit, to pour Your kindness, purity and wisdom into the world.
We pray together now for a brother in need, a family in trouble. We admit we don’t know everything, but we lift up Brett Kavanaugh and his wife and children before You. Lord, You know the whole truth, and we ask it be brought to light.
We ask that you stop and bind away all forces of darkness from succeeding in wicked plots. We ask liars be revealed and brought down wherever they may be found. We ask truth and justice be loosed in Heaven to take control of this situation on earth in Your timing.
Above all, we ask Your will be done. Use all of this for Your glory, just as You used Peter and John’s trial. Just as You used the accusations and injustice You suffered to change the world!
In the mighty and matchless name of Jesus we ask these things. Amen.
Finally, if Brett Kavanaugh is truly innocent, then we speak Isaiah 54:17 over him now:
Any accuser who takes you to court
will be dismissed as a liar.
This is what God’s servants can expect.
I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.
We dearly love that verse in the King James version, here slightly modernized: “No weapon formed against you will prosper, and every tongue that rises against you in judgment YOU will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.” Amen!
God bless every reader, may He touch you today with His truth, love and power. Believers, keep praying in surrender and in the Spirit for Heaven to be loosed and Hell to be bound in all things touching our (or your) nation today, this week, this season… He is able!
All Scripture unless otherwise noted is quoted from The Message (MSG) Bible; Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson