In every election cycle, American Christians have amazing opportunities sandwiched between grave dangers. We are privileged to be a part of a nation of people who have the responsibility to choose their own leaders.
For those believing that godly leaders are a source of blessing to a nation, elections provide us with great opportunity. However, when we begin to put our hope in leaders rather than in the Lord, we open ourselves to serious peril.
God’s Word is very clear about having an undivided heart, trusting only in the Lord. King David, the mighty warrior, says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Ps. 20:7).
Awareness of this verse can create a tension in the thinking Christian. Some have overreacted and rejected the political process completely. Such people will be less motivated to pray over the elections. A balanced and biblical approach, however, allows us to fully participate in the electoral process without falling into improperly placed trust.
In Paul’s teaching on prayer in 1 Timothy 2:1–4, one of the major thrusts is praying for those in authority. According to Paul’s reasoning, we want good government that allows us to live “peaceful and quiet lives”—ultimately freeing us to evangelize those who are lost.
Paul would have been amazed that Christians could someday actually take part in selecting those leaders. I believe he would have been even more amazed (and appalled) that many of those Christians didn’t even bother to get involved in selecting their leaders for the purposes of God to be fulfilled.
Praying for the electoral process is the first step in seeing the fulfillment of what Paul is writing about to Timothy. I don’t believe we should wait for a leader to be selected before we move into obedient prayer for those in authority. In prayer, we invite the Lord into the process of electing those leaders who will ultimately allow us to lead “peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (v. 2).
So why pray for the elections? There are four compelling reasons:
This blog is adapted from Praying for an Election: A Non-Partisan, Scripture-Based Prayer Guide by David Butts.