It’s been a crazy election season. My husband and I have talked about the candidates and issues more than ever before. We’ve watched so much news that certain political analysts and news anchors are starting to feel like family. It’s important to engage in the process. It’s important to vote. But aren’t we all ready for this election season to be over?
In a matter of hours, barring a repeat of the 2000 election, it will be over. We will know the new president-elect of the United States of America. We will know which party has the majority in both the Senate and the House. Given how bizarre this election season has been, I wonder what the post-election season will be like. At times, I dread it. Some of the current rhetoric can even evoke fear in us.
But fear is not from God, neither is confusion. In anticipation of the days ahead, I think it’s time to hear what God has to say, what He wants us to do. His will is stated clearly in His Word. This is a word from God to each one of us:
“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone, for kings and those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. I want all men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger and disputing” (1 Timothy 2:1-4, 8 NIV).
WOW! Do you need to read that again? I do. Here’s another translation:
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority. (NLT)
What God call us to:
God, speaking through the apostle Paul, urges us FIRST OF ALL to PRAY, to come before Him with specific requests, intercession on behalf of others and with thanksgiving for others. The first group listed specifically is kings and those in authority.
Why, according to this passage, does God want us to “first of all, pray:
- So we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is what God wants. Isn’t this what we want? This passage says praying for those in authority will cause it to happen. Is it possible that in some way, any number of ways, we are looking to a man or woman to provide the life we long for? Scripture challenges us:
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God (Psalm 20:7) .
Are we going to put our trust in a person who is placed in a position of power, or are we going to trust in and seek help from our All-Powerful God? Are we really going to rely on a person to do what God has said He will do as we pray?
2. Prayer pleases God. If you’re a child of God I believe it’s your desire to please Him. Prayer does that! Prayer for those in authority does it. Your prayer offered in faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). Let’s start praying in faith, believing that our prayers for our nation and for our leaders will make a significant difference.
3. This type of prayer is God’s chosen route through which men will be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Isn’t this our calling — to take the gospel into all the world so all people can be saved? What if praying for our nation’s leaders is actually a large part of God’s plan to spread the gospel? Is it possible that we’ve hindered the spread of the gospel simply because we’ve failed to pray for all people, including our leaders?
Will we listen? Will we heed?
I write this as a wake up call, a directive to myself and anyone else who might need to hear from God. Let’s not go one more day without making requests, intercession and thanksgiving for everyone, including (and maybe foremost) for our leaders and those in authority.
Let’s look to the One from whom our hope really comes from (Psalm 121:1-2), the One who changes times and seasons, who takes down kings and raises up others (Daniel 2:21). Let’s pray to the One who directs a king’s heart like a watercourse wherever He pleases (Proverbs 21:1).
Let’s listen and heed His Words:
“I want all men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger and disputing.” 1 Timothy 2:8