Readers know I’m not much for politics, especially as it pertains to the church. But there is an event happening this week that Christians should be in fervent prayer about. U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jung Un are meeting to discuss the reduction of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula. That is a big deal.
During my youth, we worried about a nuclear conflict with the Soviets. In truth, it was pretty unlikely. Both sides were balanced, and neither could hope to escape a devastating counteroffensive. The aptly named policy was Mutually Assured Destruction. As strange as it sounds that policy kept the peace for decades.
It is different now. Small nations like North Korea or Iran have the capability to launch nuclear weapons against us and our allies. While the US could surely destroy any attacking country, that is irrelevant to the larger issues of good and morality.
On August 6, 1945, the United States detonated a nuclear device in battle. Within seconds of the explosion, tens of thousands of people ceased to exist. Thousands more would die in coming weeks and years from the effects of radiation. Three days later a second attack on Nagasaki was launched. Close to a quarter of a million died in the two bombings.
We must earnestly pray for the success of the Trump-Kim summit so that no one ever faces a nuclear blast again. Here are 5 reasons to pray.
1. Prayer for Leaders is Biblical
Paul wrote, “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. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
Jesus said, “Pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28).
2. Nuclear Weapons Are Not Precise
It may be true that modern missiles can deliver a warhead through an open window a thousand miles away but the blast is uncontrollable. In fact, the actual power of the warhead can only be estimated until detonation.
After the initial blast, a massive firestorm will rage for days and will destroy areas far beyond ground zero. Fallout from the explosion will cover many miles with deadly radiation.
3. Civilians Suffer More
Modern war has proven that civilians suffer greatly from hostilities. Even a “small” exchange would kill thousands of unprepared, unprotected, and unexpecting non-combatants. Remember the bombs dropped on Japan were rudimentary, low-yield atomic devices which produced only a fraction of what modern thermonuclear devices yield.
4. Children Suffer Most
Maybe adults are at least benignly culpable for the acts of their government. Our history shows the good that can happen when a population throws off an oppressive government. But what about the children?
Children and vulnerable populations will suffer and die disproportionately in any such conflict. Humane populations cannot ignore the effects of war upon the weak and defenseless.
5. The World is at Stake
Look at a map. The superpowers are all present. North Korea is bordered to the northeast by Russia. China shares a border to the north and west, South Korea, with thousands of US troops border the south. Only a tremendous outpouring of restraint would prevent that “small” conflict from growing into a World War.
Even without Russian and Chinese involvement, Seoul, South Korea stands in the middle of American technology development and production. Extraordinary economic upheaval will occur in the wake of a nuclear conflagration.
A moral people will seek to eliminate the threat of nuclear catastrophe. Whether you like President Trump or not, pray for success in this mission. Peace avoids all the aforementioned troubles. We must pray for a true peace that protects all men.