I have to admit that this election cycle was one unlike any other I’ve ever witnessed. This is the eleventh election that I have had the privilege to participate in as a registered voter and I’ve never been so taken back than I was this year by the two candidates who ran for the office of the Presidency. And that’s putting it in the nicest way I can.
Well, now it’s all over. We have a new President-elect, new governors, new senators, new office holders and the work of leading our country is just beginning for those who have been elected and those that serve with them as they lead. Our leaders have crucial, new responsibilities now thrust upon their shoulders as they seek to fulfill their obligation to the people. But you might be surprised to remember that the biggest burden really doesn’t rest upon them as much as it does the Christian, people like you and me. Our prayers make a huge difference. I heard that “Amen”.
As believers we have the responsibility/privilege, to pray for our leaders.
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. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (ESV)
Could it be that our nation is in the mess that it’s in because Christians have forgotten to pray for our leaders? I mean after all, the Word says, “First of all”. In every language I can think of, including the Greek, it means this is number one when thinking about living our lives and loving our country. But you say you don’t really like the leadership we have, you didn’t even vote for them. It really doesn’t matter now because they are our leaders and no matter what kind of leaders they are, if God’s people will pray, He will take care of us. That’s why I believe the greater burden rests upon the knees of God’s people as we humble ourselves and pray. Have we forgotten what the Lord has said?
“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
Whether we voted for them or not, they deserve our prayers and they need our prayers and we dare not sin against God by failing to do so. We should pray for our leaders and all that surround them. We should pray to God and ask Him to:
- Save their souls and teach them to depend upon Him
- To teach them humility, for pride comes before the fall
- To fear and respect the Lord God, it is the beginning of wisdom
- Protect them and their families
- Give them strength and wisdom
- Give them patience and understanding
- Guide their decisions
- Lead their plans
- Develop their character
- Allow them to be a blessing to our nation
Additionally while in prayer regarding our nation you can ask the good Lord to have mercy on our nation. That’s a quick list of ten but I’m sure you will be able to add to or develop further your own list, but the greater burden is indeed upon followers of Christ to pray for our nation and our leaders. Make the Master proud.
“Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God's emissaries for keeping order. It is God's will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you're a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.”1 Peter 2:13-17 (MSG)
There are many decisions and actions that will be taken by others in our nation that are outside of our reach on a daily basis, but they are not outside the reach of our Lord and our prayers. Our prayer is the action that we can make while trusting and leaving the results to Him.
And while we pray for our leaders we might be like those who have gone before us...like Daniel, who prayed for the forgiveness of his people.
“So listen, God, to this determined prayer of your servant. Have mercy on your ruined Sanctuary. Act out of who you are, not out of what we are. 18 " 'Turn your ears our way, God, and listen. Open your eyes and take a long look at our ruined city, this city named after you. We know that we don't deserve a hearing from you. Our appeal is to your compassion. This prayer is our last and only hope: 19 " 'Master, listen to us! Master, forgive us! Master, look at us and do something! Master, don't put us off! Your city and your people are named after you: You have a stake in us!'” Daniel 9:17-19 (MSG)
With a nation as divided as I can remember in my lifetime we can be a part of the solution...through our prayers. It’s not all we can do...but it is supposed to be number one. Do something that really matters...you can start immediately...now is the time for prayer...it must not be shoved to the back burner...it must be what we make first...because we want to, not because we have to. It’s all a part of engaging our culture while loving God and loving people. May God Bless America!