If you are like my family you did a lot of celebrating last night. BBQ’d, roasted marshmallows, watched fireworks and generally had a great time. This is a great country we live in and its worth celebrating living here. Having said that most all of us are aware we live in a very unusual time where the very foundations of our country are under attack and our political system feels like it is broken. The situation is such that I hear people all the time asking “Are you going to vote in the next election?”. I’ve never heard that before in my brief history as a voter. What’s up with that? How do you respond to that?
Well, my answer is simply this, we’re asking the wrong question. There is a question that we must ask before that and it’s simply this; “Are you praying for this nation, and for God’s will in the election?”. You see the question “Are you going to even vote?” implies something. It implies that you’re considering giving up on this nation or at least in our democratic process. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the problem. Do I vote for the lessor of two evils? Do I withhold my vote in protest? Do I vote for some third party candidate and hope for a miracle? I get it. But I want to submit to you that things are not hopeless. When you commit yourself to prayer for this country and its leaders, and the democratic process, you are doing the most fundamentally important thing you can do. You are summoning the awesome, almighty, sovereign power of God to intervene in a confusing, contentious, and even critical time in our history. We must ask ourselves what comes first, voting or praying? Through prayer we are releasing God’s kingdom to come and be manifest among us in a tangible way. We may not know what, exactly, he is up to or what he wants to do, but that’s what prayer is; getting out of the way and getting our will off the front burner and getting God’s will in its proper place. Admitting we may not know what that is and asking God to do His will in spite of us.
Here’s my simple encouragement to us all. Pray. Pray for this country. Pray for the candidates. Pray for the process. Pray because you trust God and because you DON’T know God’s will....because you trust Him to work in ways that you might not understand or comprehend. Pray because you know God has a plan and you just might not be tuned in to what it is yet. But you know because He is God He is good and sovereign He is working “...all things after the counsel of His will.” (Eph. 1:11) That’s comforting isn’t it! If you pray, I believe that when the moment comes that you must decide what to do with your vote, the Holy Spirit will lead you and in that moment you will know what to do. Pretty simple huh? It’s not rocket science, but its real power!
Join me in praying. Don’t give up on your country. God has a plan. Of all people we should be filled with faith and excited about the future because we know our sovereign God is in control. He has great things he wants to do, and he has sovereignly designed prayer to bring those things about.