Benjamin Warfield once wrote:
“Sometimes we hear it said that ten minutes on your knees will give you a truer, deeper, more operative knowledge of God than ten hours over your books. ‘What!’ Is the appropriate response, ‘than ten hours over your books, on your knees?’”
Yes, pray. Yes, read, study, meditate, while praying.
Let me apply this across spheres, and exhort us that prayer must not be assumed. We must be devoted to prayer while doing politics.
We’ve been spending time in Romans 13 for the last month. Does the Lord care about earthly authorities? Does He care about government, about rulers and rules, about how nations run and citizens are protected? He most definitely does. While we consider the laws of our land, we see that the Lord has been gracious to give us at least some liberty to choose our representatives and to make our voice known on some decisions. Are we allowed by the Lord to care about how we are governed? He expects it.
Our interest and involvement as Christians is not idolatry, nor is it necessarily worldly, as in, done with sinful motives. And yet it is easy to slip into ten hours over news reading/scrolling/watching, or even political activism, without praying.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1–2 ESV)
This is not an exhortation to pietism, a private retreat to “thoughts and prayers” instead of work. But it is an exhortation: why would God bless our efforts if we don’t even ask Him to? We can do a lot of things with prayer, but we ought to do no thing without it. “First of all, then,” pray.