Conservative Attorney Asks: How Now Shall We Pray?
For years, attorney Phillip Jauregui of Judicial Action Group has advocated for righteous judges. Days away from the vote on Judge Barrett, he shares how he is praying.
For me, prayer is a bit of a mystery. Somehow it allows us to participate with God in shaping current events. What an incredible honor and responsibility.
Many around the nation have been praying in recent days. We’ve prayed for Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her family. We have appealed to heaven that the COVID-19 pandemic would end swiftly. And we pray for honest elections, specifically that “Vote by Mail” plans won’t translate into “Cheat by Vote by Mail.”
At Judicial Action Group, our greatest asset is our wonderful team of prayer warriors. As we have been praying in recent days over current events, we have sensed God giving us an interesting way to pray using precedent.
Understanding Spiritual Precedents
Last week in Judge Barrett’s confirmation hearing, we heard a lot of discussion about “precedent.” In the context of earthly courts, “precedent” refers to a prior court decision that is similar to a current court matter.
Interestingly, “precedent” is also relevant in the Kingdom of God. As we seek God and ask Him to perform His will for our nation it is essential that we understand His laws and His nature. But it’s also vital that we look to “precedent,” or the application of His laws and His nature to circumstances throughout history.
One such precedent is found in the biblical book of I Samuel in Chapter 14. It is the story of The Battle of Mikmash between the children of Israel and their enemies: the Philistines.
The Israelites, led by King Saul, were in one camp and the Philistines were in another. Saul’s son, Jonathan, and his armor bearer left their camp to go recon the enemy and ended up fighting them.
Thereafter, the Israelites watched God send panic and confusion into the enemy camp. It resulted in the enemies fighting against each other, melting away and fleeing the battlefield.
You can read the whole story in I Samuel Chapter 14.
The Mikmash Precedents
As you read the Mikmash account, I pray that the Lord will highlight “precedents” to you. Here are just a few of the precedents that our JAG prayer team sees:
- Place Your Confidence in God. When Jonathan made a plan to engage the enemy, he did so with the declaration that “nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few” (I Samuel 14:6.).
- Be bold and forsake fear. When it came time to confront the enemy, Jonathan was unafraid and credited God for delivering him before he even engaged. “Jonathan said to his armor bearer, ‘Come up after me, for the Lord has delivered them into the hand of Israel’” (I Samuel 14:12).
- Praying is a form of fighting, but so is stepping into the public square and voting, working for imperfect candidates, and explaining what the Bible says about governmental issues. “And Jonathan climbed up on his hands and knees with his armor bearer after him; and they fell before Jonathan. And as he came after him, his armor bearer killed them. That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor bearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land” (I Samuel 14:13-14).
- God sent a panic into the enemy camp. Once Jonathan engaged the enemy in faith, God responded and did supernaturally what only God can do: he sent a panic into the enemy camp. “Then panic struck the whole [enemy] army — those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties — and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God” (I Samuel 14:15).
Precedents of A Seemingly Easy Victory
- God caused the enemy army to melt away. “Saul’s lookouts at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions” (I Samuel 14:16).
- God caused the enemy to fight amongst themselves in total confusion. Jonathan began the fight in faith, but then God stepped in and supernaturally caused the enemy to defeat themselves. “Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords” (I Samuel 14:20).
- God put the enemy on the run. When the whole army of Israel finally went to battle, they saw the enemy already on the run. “When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit. So on that day the Lord saved Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.”
- God flipped opponents over to the side of God. This is one of the most interesting precedents from I Samuel 14. There were Israelites in the camp of the Philistines; when God caused the Philistines to fight amongst each other, he also brought these Israelites out of the enemy camp and into the camp of God. “Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines and had gone up with them to their camp went over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan” (I Samuel 14:21).
Application of Precedent to Our Present Battles
Although I Samuel 14 describes an actual military battle, we know from the Bible that our present battle is not against people.
The Book of Ephesians says: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
As we battle in prayer, we take confidence in asking God to move in ways that are consistent with his laws and also with the precedents we see in His Word.
As we pray for Judge Barrett, I encourage you to join this “precedent” prayer:
Lord, we pray that Judge Barrett’s enemies will not attack her. But, if they do, then we pray that you would visit “panic” and “confusion” into the enemy camp. We pray they would end up “attacking each other” and that they would “melt away” and “flee” the battlefield. Let Judge Barrett move into victory and take this Supreme Court seat for your glory!
Dear prayer warrior, I encourage you to look for other precedents in God’s Word and to apply them as you pray for the elections and other current events.
Phillip Jauregui serves as president of Judicial Action Group, a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization working towards judicial renewal.