As Independence Day in the United States is now in the rear view mirror we can expect the political noise will go to new levels. One of the things that you may hear is, “We need to pray for the elections in America.” But as one of my mentors from afar, Daniel Henderson, says, “Prayer is one of the most talked about and least practiced disciplines in the church.” So I thought that I would write four things that most people would be comfortable praying and ask you pray them while you read them.
Pray that the result would be peaceful and quiet lives.
When Paul encourages prayer for rulers and authority he encourages Timothy to pray that, “we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Tim 2:2 NIV) This is a great end result to pray for each of us. I pray that after any election I may live out my godliness and holiness in a peaceful and quiet way.
Pray that God’s kingdom would advance.
As a guy who speaks on prayer I spend a lot of time in Jesus’ teaching on prayer. One of our first requests is that, “Your kingdom come.” This is a great reminder that our citizenship is in heaven. This is not a statement against political activity but a focus on our priority in prayer. At some point the United States may cease to exist as a nation but the kingdom of God will last forever.
Pray that the words you speak would honor God.
James reminds us that, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” (James 1:19 NIV). I read someone who said in this day and age people are, “Slow to listen, quick to speak, and quick to become angry.” This can be especially true during a political season. I even thought long and hard about writing this whole piece. James is not saying to not speak at all. We should just pray that we would pause before we make that angry comment on Facebook or say something that damages our overall witness.
Pray by name for those who would be leaders.
The verse I mentioned before from 1 Timothy 2 refers to praying for kings and those in authority. Depending on how you date the book this could mean that Paul is encouraging Timothy to pray for Nero. Tradition says that Nero ended up having Paul killed. So you have it easy when you practice praying for a possible President Trump or President Hilary. But don’t stop there. Keep praying all the way down the ballot to your most local level.
This is just four areas where you can pray. Let me encourage you to actually pray. As I share in my teaching on praying without ceasing this should be just a starting point in your prayer for your election. Even if you are not in the United States we would appreciate your prayer as we pray for our brothers and sisters around the world as well.