What To Pray On Election Day
Man I’m sick of the ads, the phone calls, the junk mail, the screaming and negativity. Hard to believe anyone makes any money on this but they do – but that’s another post. Tomorrow we’ll cast our ballots (at least many of us will) and we’ll be relieved of the campaigning, at least for a little while. But what’s a Christian to do in the midst of all this? Two things:
- don’t hide your head in a bucket – be aware, look around, and pray
- don’t get caught up in the riptides of popular opinion and “news” – pray
But what, exactly should a Christian pray for? Al Mohler, president at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has an excellent article on this, listing 10 things a Christian (liberal or conservative) should pray for. Here they are in summary – if you’d like to read the whole article (which isn’t that long) click here.
- “First we should pray that God will bless America with leaders better than we deserve.” I’ve often thought that in a democracy people get exactly the leaders they deserve – pandering politicians succeed only because we vote for them. Mohler’s first point is a humble one – pray for leadership better than we deserve.
- “We should pray that Americans will be motivated to fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship, yet also that we will be stripped of an unhealthy and idolatrous confidence in the power of government to save us.” It is part of your obedience, Christian, to vote! To do this without worshipping the state takes good balance.
- “We must pray that Americans will vote by conscience, not merely on the basis of celebrity or emotion.” Honestly I wonder if we have a conscience anymore, but this is what the Christian is to pursue. Maybe if we spent more time with our own consciences rather than yelling at others about theirs, we’d have a more humble society.
- “We must pray that Americans will vote to defend the least among us — and especially those who have no vote.” The left will look to minorities, the poor while the right will look to victims of abortion. Mohler reminds us that the election is about far more than winning or losing – it’s about how we treat the defenseless.
- “We should pray that God will prick the conscience of the nation on issues of morality, righteousness, and respect for marriage as the central institution of human civilization.” Lefty friends will not agree on the last clause, but the intent here is important – that we be moved and humbled by our consciences rather than forced and constrained by our laws.
- “We should pray that God will protect these candidates and their families.” They are people under incredible strain – even if they are from the opposing party, all the reason to pray for their persons.
- “We should pray that the election is conducted with honor, civility, respect, and justice.” In my view this would be a miracle in and of itself! Attorneys are already lining up to contest close votes. But even if the election takes days and weeks to determine, the Christian will conduct him or herself with honor and civility because the know this election is not ultimate.
- “We must pray that Americans will be prepared to accept the results of the election with respect and kindness.” Easier for a Calvinist perhaps, as the results, whichever party they favor, will be the will of God. Should the opposing party win, we still look for God’s will and treat each other as fallible human beings.
- “We should pray that this election would lead to even greater opportunities to preach the Gospel, and that the freedom of the church will be respected, honored, and protected.”
- “We must pray for the church, praying that the church of the Lord Jesus Christ would be strengthened in the truth, grounded in the faith, and empowered for witness and ministry.”
Mohler has more to say on each of these points, but I think there’s plenty of meat here for your prayer life.