As the Republican National Convention got underway Tuesday, a steady stream of people came through the Prayer Room at the Tampa Convention Center during the afternoon and evening. Some prayed alone, while some joined with one or two others.
Joni Leckey, an alternate delegate from Arizona, spent time in the prayer room, as did her 16-year-old son, Jared.
After Joni prayed with a couple of other attendees, she took a few minutes to talk about her faith and some of the issues that are important to her. Leckey is actively involved in her state Republican Party and came to the Convention as part of the small but vocal contingent of Constitutional Conservatives that advocate a more limited government.
Leckey believes that neither party is perfect, but she says Christians must be involved in the political process.
“If you love truth, you can’t not be involved, because you can’t let darkness just be,” she said. “Both parties are shriveling—not many people actually get out and vote, because they are so disgusted with what’s going on. But if we love truth, we need to want to shine the light of truth and be involved. If all the believers that love truth would come and stand for truth within their Party, then the darkness would flee.”
Leckey said she would have preferred a smaller, less expensive convention. She explained: “To be a Christian means that we’re different, and the biggest difference that would testify to others would be an ability to be humble. Humility allows us to listen and to really care. So as Christians, from whatever party—as Christians, period, we are not to place money or self-promotion above God's ways of advancement.
“We are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and He will lift us up at the proper time," said Leckey. “Humility is living by faith, and only by faith do we please God. … It would be a huge testimony to the whole country if we had a humble convention.”
Closing the Day in Prayer
Tuesday night’s benediction was given by the Reverend Sammy Rodriguez, an ordained Assemblies of God minister and president of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which is described as “America’s largest Hispanic Christian Organization, with 40,118 member churches.” Rodriguez serves on the boards of directors for Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, the National Association of Evangelicals and Christianity Today.
Rodriguez prayed that in the midst of moral relativism and spiritual apathy, America would receive a fresh outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit. ...“Let Your Spirit move us, reconciling sanctification with service, holiness with humility, the image of God with the habits of Christ, righteousness with justice, and Billy Graham’s message with Martin Luther King’s dream—a dream expressed so eloquently by him on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on this very day nearly 50 years ago.”
He concluded the prayer, saying that "we gather here in Tampa, empowered by Your Spirit, believing that God is not done with America, and America is not done with God."