Emotions seem to be running high this presidential election. That may actually be true every election cycle, but it seems more pronounced this time around. For a variety of different reasons, from a variety of different angles, it all feels extra weighty. Even for those who aren’t especially excited about either outcome, there’s this constant reminder that America’s resemblance to godliness isn’t particularly promising these days.
So in that sense, I can see why people are getting worked up. It makes sense that people are passionate about everyone doing their part in voting, or even intelligently discussing the options (although, as is often said, rarely will anyone change their mind on the matter). But far far far more important than doing our part in any of those ways, are we, as Christians, praying? Truly, are we spending time talking to God about this climactic moment in our country?
One Week to Pray
We have about a week until the election will already be behind us; we will soon know which man will lead our nation for the next four years. If we haven’t been praying already, now is the time!
And I don’t mean merely pray that the person you want to win wins. And I certainly don’t mean ask God to give you your way. I mean pray for God’s will to be done! Pray that God—who knows all things, who knows the end from the beginning—will use this election to accomplish his purposes.
In all honesty, God’s purposes may not be ours. For all we know, the man who becomes president could usher in all types of persecution for Christians, and that may be exactly what’s on God’s agenda — for the sake of purifying the church, or making his name more known (as is often the case when Christians become emboldened through persecution). Or perhaps the ungodliness of our next president or his policies will become the perfect backdrop to speak truth to a lost world. Who knows what God’s purposes are, but the truth of the matter is, we should want his will, not our own — even if we think we know what’s best for our nation.
So let’s ask God to use the outcome of this election for all he wants to accomplish in our world.
Prayer is admittedly a very weird thing — God is sovereign over all things (Psalm 115:3), and he’s already decided all that will happen in history (Isaiah 46:9-10). And yet, he commands us to pray (Philippians 4:6), and he says our prayers work (James 5:16, 1 John 5:14-15). How all that comes together is a little baffling.
But what’s not baffling is the way in which our prayers cause our hearts to want whatever God says is best, even if it’s not our “first choice.” Prayer deepens our trust in God, and readies us for his will.
In other words, if we are faithfully praying day after day for God to have his way, when the outcome is announced on November 3, 2020 (or whenever it gets officially announced) we will not be shaken in the least. Because we know that no matter what, God is in control of all things, including who the president of the United States is.
So pray this week because God wants you to pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17), pray because it makes a difference, and pray because it will align your heart to whatever God decides is the right outcome.
If every person who read this prayed for just a few minutes everyday until the election, for the election, oh the hours of petition that could be brought before the throne of God! God hears, he knows what’s best, and he will answer. Let’s lay all our concerns before the Lord, but above all, let’s pray for his will to be done.