Pray for One – Election Survival Guide
By the time I post my next devotion, our next President will have likely been chosen. I have heard people say, “I’ll just be glad when it’s over.” I don’t share this sentiment because I want to be a part of the process to the very end, taking advantage of the incredible trove of information at hand.
As an American I am passionate about my views toward the constitution, and public policy. Yes, I know God is in control, and our Savior Jesus is the undisputed King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But what happens in politics matters. I want good government, and I want to support the direction I believe will “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
With these priorities in mind, I would like to make some suggestions to help us show our love for our country while respecting others and demonstrating good Christian character in the days ahead. I humbly present these items for your consideration:
Respect the ability of others to make up their minds. While we might be able to enlighten others with new perspectives, we must realize we are not the only ones capable of sifting through issues and arriving at the truth. Ironically, when we insult the intelligence of others in an effort to influence their votes, we are probably more likely to turn them against our candidate. Talk about the issues and reflect on the latest news stories, but be kind. “An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel” (Proverbs 18:19)
Honor the right of every American to vote without harassment. A couple of weeks ago a Christian acquaintance asked me if I was going to vote for the candidate she opposed. I have always exercised my right for confidentiality when it comes to voting for a political candidate. When I refused to publicly discuss my candidate, I was presumed to be on the opposite side of the political aisle and was berated. Some people choose to publicly endorse a candidate, and that is fine, but respect the position of those who don’t. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)
Pray for wisdom. The hard truth is difficult to come by at this stage of the political process. However, every day we hear new information that could prove valuable as we prepare to cast our vote. Many people have told me they are so frustrated with this election season all they can do is pray. I am all for prayer, but I believe we should pray specifically for the strength to remain engaged in the political process and the wisdom to discern what everything means. “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:6-7)
Pray for the collective witness of the Lord’s people. The selection of a President is huge, but the challenges facing our country are greater than a single political office. Every day we make decisions that determine who or what sits on the throne of our hearts. We teach our children what is important by the choices we make, and with every entry on our calendar and checkbook ledger we decide whether we are going to be driven by God’s purposes or worldly ambition. Truthfully, the choices voters make in our country are merely a reflection of the people we have become. If, as the Lord’s people, we aren’t putting Him first, and drawing people to Him, we can’t expect the government to do our job for us. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” (Matthew 5:13)
Vote. Proverbs 29:2 reads, “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Proverbs 29:2) If we are displeased with our country’s political choices, we might indeed groan; especially if the policies politicians pursue violate our moral conscience. But if we have the opportunity to vote and don’t, we have no right to complain.
I encourage you to pray fervently that God will work through His people to bring about His will in this political season. Whatever the outcome of the election, I believe God continues to call us to a higher level of commitment and a deeper devotion to His truth. A lot hinges on the upcoming election, but even more depends on our decision to put God first in our lives. Don’t forget that the “one” we have been praying for could be watching. While a vote for a candidate might be a secret, our witness is not.
When you vote in next week’s election, you will be standing in line with a crowd of people preparing to make a decision that will impact the next four years of all of our lives. Look for your “one”. God might have placed him or her in your precinct for such a time as this.