I blog about politics because I like annoying people.
(Kidding. That’s not a thing.)
I actually blog about politics because I don’t see anyone discussing our government and potential next president these days and feel I need to fill that huge gap.
Ha. Hahaha. Ha.
As you’re already aware, the world is cluttered with people, even Christians, voicing views and reasons on politics, so trust me, I don’t suffer from the delusion that I have something radically new to offer. I’ve blogged on the subject a few times because I want to be a voice expressing thoughts on controversial topics in a gracious way.
But you know what? In the end, you don’t need more of my thoughts, as if I am the all-wise expert with the final word. This weekend, I was thinking: what would happen if I talked about our political situation less and prayed for it more?
Everyone knows we’re supposed to pray for our country. It’s the typical Christian response to all things red-white-and-blue. But if you’re like me, this basically means a quick, “And bless our leaders, and help Christians in our country to be united” tacked on to other, more personal requests.
After all, how do you pray for a nation with such a wide range of needs and hurts and sins and shortcomings? How do you pray for a church divided in a contentious election? How do you pray for God to bless a country that doesn’t seem to want his blessing?
Maybe by using the Bible itself to guide our prayers. With that in mind, here are ten passages that can be used to pray for our country and leaders and the American church over the next few weeks.
Read them—all at once if you like, or one a day. Pray through them next Sunday afternoon, on the night before the election…or the night after. Post them as your Facebook statuses, write them on a sticky note on your mirror, or print them out and stick them in your Bible. Let them inform the way you pray for the America and the choice before us.
For wisdom in deciding what’s best for our 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. . . . For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”—Jeremiah 29:7, 11-13
“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”—James 3:17-18
For gracious political discussions (among the church in front of a watching world):
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. . . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”—Romans 12:16-18, 21
“Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies. The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.”—Proverbs 12:16-19
For our leaders at local, state, and national levels:
“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 every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”—1 Timothy 2:1-4
For perspective for Christians:
“For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”—Philippians 3:18-20
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? . . . Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”—Isaiah 58:6-9
For faith in God’s complete control, regardless of the outcome of the election:
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.”—Psalm 20:7-8
“At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’”—Daniel 4:34-35
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.”—1 Chronicles 29:10-13
Any other passages that come to mind when you think about praying for our country?