Today is April 15th. Happy “Tax Day” everyone.
Did you know that our founding fathers never intended for us to pay income tax? It’s true but here we are sending another check to Uncle Sam yet I wonder if we also take time to pray for our country when we write out the check? I am afraid that I am usually spending too much time complaining about the amount I owe. I don’t feel like praying. But maybe that’s the point.
Consider this. Jesus’ taught that we should pay taxes. ( “Render to Caesar”, remember?) so we know he paid taxes but I wonder. Do you think he also offered prayers and supplication to the Father on behalf of the tyrannical rulers of his day and those who collected them?
You know he did.
Then there was Paul who actually taught us to pay and pray. Take a look. Romans 13: 6-7 says, “This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”
But wait there’s more.
Paul in his exhortation to his disciple Timothy encouraged him to pray for those in authority. Check it out. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour….— 1 Timothy 2:1-3
Ok so maybe you think our tax system is unfair. Fair enough. It may not seem fair to pay taxes, but I can think of a time when it was even more unfair.
Back in Jesus’ day, for example.
Imagine paying taxes to Rome, a totally tyranical and oppressive government, completely pagan and who ruled dissidents with an iron fist. It was back in those days that Levi aka: Matthew was collecting taxes for Rome. Being dishonest was a way of life for him prior to his conversion. That’s right, his pay was whatever extra he could squeeze from each citizen. And if they didn’t have it, he had ways of getting it anyway. Extortion was the way of the tax collector.
Talk about unfair.
Hey, I must admit. I don’t love paying taxes either but if writing the check can remind us to also, as Paul said, “pray for all that are in authority” then perhaps the discipline of doing what doesn’t come natural, is worth the pain.
On this tax day, I’m hoping you will be reminded to pray with me for our country. Perhaps like never before, we need God’s mighty hand to lead, to guide and to have mercy on us all. There have been some difficult days that we’ve faced in this past year. All the more reason to come together as one, in humility and with repentant hearts seeking the Lord’s favor. May we trust the Father to make us more like him. Pray for revival! Pray for his mercy and grace. We certainly need it now.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my cface, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Something to think about.