Praying in a New Way for our Leaders
Recently, I participated in a political discussion on Facebook. For the most part, the conversation about our potential leaders was civil, until I read this comment:
“I pray God would lift the blinders from your eyes to see the true enemy and vote for the only opportunity we have to have a country anymore!”
Honestly, my first reaction was offense. But as I stepped back and thought about my response, I started thinking about who the true enemy is. The true enemy isn’t a person running for office–the true enemy is Satan! He is using the tumult of this election to seek out whom he may devour.
A Typical Prayer’s Unspoken Thought
Then, I thought about how Christians tend to pray for our leaders. It seems like our default prayer goes something like this: “Lord, we pray for our leaders and for our country. We pray that they will have wisdom and discernment in making laws for the people. We thank you for this great nation. Amen.”
Sounds pretty good, right? However, I think there’s often an unspoken subtext. When we pray for our political candidates, we sometimes think: “God, please help Candidate X win the election because their opinions are like mine.” Or, “Please keep Candidate Y out of office because I’m afraid they’ll do things I don’t like.” Maybe it’s not something we actually verbalize, but the idea is there, in the back of our minds.
Winning Souls, Not Elections
Christians, I’m beginning to realize that this kind of prayer isn’t necessarily the best kind to pray. Instead, we should pray for the souls of every political candidate, whether their platform agrees with ours or not. We should be praying for these men and women to hear and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. To use Paul’s words in Romans 10:1, our “heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.”
Can you imagine what God could do if Christians all over the nation prayed for souls to be saved, rather than elections to be won?
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. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
A Challenge and a Prayer
Will you commit to praying with me for the souls of our leaders–national, state, and local? Even after the elections are over, let’s continue to pray for whomever wins.
Heavenly Father, you are so mighty! You are in control; help us to remember that. I pray for the men and women who are running for political office. Dear God, I pray that each one will have an opportunity to hear the good news of Jesus. I pray that you will open their hearts and their minds, and that they will gladly receive your gift of salvation. As your children, help us to speak boldly in the name of Christ. Remove our fears and give us a spirit of courage. Be with our nation, dear Lord, and help us seek the narrow paths that lead to righteousness in your eyes. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-7)