By Kim Butts
Local and county elections are today! If you haven’t already voted early, here are 7 specific ways to pray through this process before, during and after election day! If you have already voted, use this guide to pray for others as they vote!
Pray before you vote:
- Ask God to give you a desire to get out and vote even if you don’t feel like it. “The good influence of godly citizens causes a city to prosper, but the moral decay of the wicked drives it downhill” (Proverbs 11:11 TLB). We often have the mentality, especially in local elections, that voting isn’t really very important or that our vote is just one of many and couldn’t possibly make a difference; however, it is especially important for Christians to express the heart and life of Jesus Christ through their votes! Don’t think that it doesn’t matter, because it does! There may be a critical issue that your city or county is voting on that will change the moral culture of your community! The people running for mayor, city council, etc. will affect you and your family through their lives, their beliefs and their authority. You want godly people to be in places of influence. Be sure your voice is heard – don’t stay home
- Ask God for wisdom. “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it” (James 1:5 TLB). If you can, get ahold of a sample ballot and ask God to help you to make wise choices based upon His plans and purposes for your city or county. Go through each office, each issue, etc. and seek God’s answers, people, position, etc. Many people just make random selections rather than prayerfully and wisely considering this very important privilege!
Pray as you vote:
- Ask God to open your eyes. Sometimes we can get in a hurry and/or be distracted during the voting process. It is important to stay focused and to stay aligned with what God is showing you to do: “Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute…” (1 Corinthians 16:13 MSG).
- Ask God to help you be Christlike to anyone you come into contact with no matter their political party or preference. “…for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world…” (Philippians 2:13-15 NASB). Demonstrate the life of Jesus as you wait in line, perhaps running the gauntlet of those trying to convince you to vote for a certain person or for a particular side in a referendum, etc. When you speak to the election officials be sure to thank them for their selfless service – they work long hours. Take time to pray for them to have endurance, patience and kindness…perhaps as you wait in line. As you enter or exit the polling place, if someone is unkind or rude to you, don’t allow the Devil to tempt you to sin with your response. Instead, shine the light of Jesus and pray for that person.
- Ask God for the strength to pray for those who are running for office that you don’t agree with. Ask Him to help you not to criticize and judge, but to love, and to replace anger with kindness. “Don’t criticize and speak evil about each other, dear brothers. If you do, you will be fighting against God’s law of loving one another, declaring it is wrong. But your job is not to decide whether this law is right or wrong, but to obey it. Only he who made the law can rightly judge among us. He alone decides to save us or destroy. So what right do you have to judge or criticize others” (James 4:11-12 TLB)? God loves every person passionately. Even those who disobey Him or who do not follow His commands. You can ruin a good opportunity to be a living testimony for Jesus if you speak badly about others. Instead, pray for those whom you disagree with and who disagree with you, and for those who persecute you or think poorly of you because of your beliefs. “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28 NASB).
Pray after you vote:
- Commit to pray for those who have won different offices, even if your candidate didn’t win. “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 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 people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4 NIV). Pray that those elected to public office will carry out their duties with honor, honesty, moral uprightness and truthfulness. Pray that those who don’t know Jesus as Savior and Lord will come to know Him in all His fullness! Pray also for their families!
- Thank the Lord for freedom and for the opportunity to live in a nation where you have a voice in electing officials and voting on issues that affect our lives and our culture. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 NASB). We should never take this privilege and responsibility lightly, but continually give thanks for our freedom to have a say in our government.
(c) Harvest Prayer Ministries