This mid-term election was interesting and surprising in many respects. Politics for the next two years should be interesting as well. The shift in control of the House of Representatives will create some new tension in governance of our nation. Prayer for those in leadership will become even more important. It's because my duty as a Christian is consistent regardless of who receives the votes cast by "we the people" November 6. More than anything these thoughts are personal convictions after such a divisive and inflamed campaign season. This little list of to-do items in my election after-life touches some of the trouble spots for me in giving support and prayers to the President, the government en toto, and the "we the people" who occupy the places in my concentric circles. They are my action steps into the future---
1. Pray for those in the authority of government.
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
1 Timothy 2:1-2, ESV
In Paul's spiritual life prayer for those in authority was a first order of business. This prayer had an objective: "that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way". As a result we should pray accordingly.
2. Think of others as more important than ourselves.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more
significant than yourselves.
Philippians 2:3, ESV
The prayer for leaders and those at the various levels of government has the welfare of the nation at heart. This prayer is best offered from a humble heart that places others at the forefront of our lives. This past election has been mean spirited and ugly. The human ego and our total depravity has been center stage throughout. The collision of egos in this election has been visible even within the Christian community. Many of us should spend time at the prayer rail as we actualize our response to the most recent election results, me at the top of that list.
3. Be submitted to the governing authority of our nation.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no
authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and
those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good
conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority?
Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant
for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in
vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on
the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's
wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
Romans 13:1-5, ESV
There's a hierarchy in the "governing authorities" in our system of government, which is a constitutional republic. The peak of our "governing authorities" is the Constitution of the United States. The next levels involve "we the people" that is, the population of our nation, the branches of government, and those elected to "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution. Regardless of our political preferences our submission to government, the rule of law, and the well-being of our nation are biblical issues. As I pray, I will ask God to give me a heart of obedience to his word and support for those leaders elected by "we the people".
4. Pray for the nation.
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to
the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Jeremiah 29:7, ESV
There are, of course, many Scriptures providing guidance as we pray for the nation. This election has revealed significant changes in the electoral system, the political parties, and the demographic framework of our nation. The Christian community, though severely divided about the candidates, platforms, and direction, should lead the nation is prayerful humility. I'm praying that I can be supportive of the new government regardless of who occupies the Oval Office, the seats in our legislative branch, and the judicial system of our nation.
So, I'm hitting the post button this morning knowing the outcomes of most of the vote tallies happening across the nation. Yes, I know how I voted. But, my responsibility before God is set no matter the result of election day. Holding a Christian worldview, I am beckoned back to the prayer closet until 2020 when all of us will unfold our hands and go to the polls again.
God bless America!