Saul had been king of Israel only two years when he made the big mistake that ultimately cost him his kingdom. He was to wait for Samuel at Gilgal; for Samuel, as priest, had the exclusive charge of making the burnt offerings and sacrifices of peace offerings (1 Samuel 10:8). But Saul lost heart and disobeyed Samuel’s order, and when Samuel was delayed, Saul offered the sacrifices himself (1 Samuel 13:7-9). Saul’s disobedience resulted in God’s withdrawal of His grace from Saul’s kingdom (1 Samuel 13:13-14).
Kings are not to be priests, and vice versa. Christ, after the order of Melchizedek, is the sole exception. People don’t always like it, but that’s because we are rebellious sinners who favor our own will over God’s; and let’s face it: kings and aspiring kings are willful people.
Throughout the New Testament, the proper environment of prayer is within one’s church assembly and within one’s closet. Prayer is never represented as the purview of political leaders or aspirants. It is appropriate, and indeed necessary, to pray for one’s leaders and one’s country, for the mercy of rain, or any other good. And these prayers properly occur within churches and in private. Public prayer is, in fact, associated with hypocrisy (Matthew 6:5-6).
I don’t want to get too much into this, but here is a column by someone with whom in this case I am in substantial accord on the subject.
(Shep — I’m trying to KMPD….)