Friday, November 04, 2016

The ELECTION: how to pray

How should we pray about the election?

First, remember that although the presidential election is obviously getting the most attention, there are many other offices and positions on the ballot which are very important and effect our everyday lives (e.g. judges, mileage, etc.). To some who don't plan to vote because they are so disgusted with it all and wanting to make a statement to the parties and politicians that we demand better -- don't forget that you can still vote for many other important positions and proposals also on the ballot (e.g. judges, millage, etc.). By the way, making a statement by not voting or by voting for a candidate who doesn't have a ghost of a chance to win, only makes sense if you also actually "make a statement" to the parties and politicians by telling them (email is an easy way) that you did not vote, why you didn't vote, and what you want to see changed. Personally I am still very torn as to whether to vote for the presidential candidate who I believe will be the least bad regarding the MANY things I value deeply, or whether I will "make a statement" by not voting (for president) or by voting for someone other than the two primary candidates. I have already emailed both parties and candidates repeatedly expressing my frustration, disapproval, and disgust, as well as my suggestions and hopes for the future.

The good news is that next Wednesday, the election and all it's related frenzy will be behind us.  The bad news is that NO MATTER WHO WINS, the country will most likely be horribly and acrimoniously divided and the branches of government paralyzed by stubborn and self-destructive partisanship, so that, for better and for worse, very little good or bad will be accomplished by the politicians.

Before we know who will win, could I remind myself and all of us that Christians are mandated to honor (even horrific despots like Nero) and pray for those God places over us whether He gives us whom we want, whom we need, or whom we deserve.  Personally, I have VERY strong feelings about who we should NOT vote for in this election and am not at all pleased with either of the two primary choices. But, no matter how intensely I may disagree with the winner, when the election is over, I'm going to do my best to give them a "fresh start" (hold me accountable to this) and to try not to read into everything he or she does or does not do all the horrific things that people and pundits have been continually throwing at them in this election cycle.

I will pray that all the character flaws which now seem so obvious will be replaced by genuine integrity and concern for bringing people together to accomplish good -- and will try to be hopeful and optimistic in looking for those things. I will pray that God will bring into their lives people and circumstances that will change and shape them into beneficent people with good character and values. I will pray that whatever they have been and done in the past, they will surprise half of Americans by doing and being far better. I will really try to give them a chance and to NOT CONTINUALLY BRING UP ALL THE ISSUES that probably actually needed to be aired before the election but perhaps should be laid aside afterward in order to give them an opportunity to be and do well. I will pray that I will be open to recognizing the positive and to say, "That was good!" rather than "I told you so!" Again, hold me accountable to this.

Because many people are passionately praying FOR their own candidate and AGAINST the candidate of others who are praying FOR their candidate and AGAINST the candidate of others, I will seek to pray more in ways that are more consistent with clear Biblical lessons. Aren't you glad God can sort through our foolishness, ignorance, bias, and too-often, our ill-directed passion-laced prayers!

Of course, we all know that we are right and those who disagree with us are wrong. Right?! Does it trouble you that Christians and Christian leaders can disagree so vehemently about which presidential candidate all Christians should or should not vote for, and predict that the world as we know it in the USA will likely come to a catastrophic conclusion if the wrong person wins? The trouble is, many Christians and Christian leaders just don't agree on which candidate that is. I'm frankly surprised that the "antichrist" card hasn't been played more frequently (and incorrectly I should quickly add). Perhaps I and others need a bit more humility in our positions and an open-mindedness that gives God space to teach and correct us.

So here's some Biblical guidance on HOW TO PRAY ABOUT THE ELECTION:

"Not my will, but Yours be done" Luke 22:42

"Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven"   Matthew 6:10)

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -- for kings and all 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 to come to a knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men."  1 Timothy 2:1-6

"Come, Lord Jesus" Revelation 22:20

Remember: "Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save." Psalm 146:3

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