So did your candidate win? Or are you horrified at the results of the election? Either way, we’re probably stuck with this person as president for the next four years. But whether we are celebrating or in mourning, it’s time to move on. As believers, we have an important assignment. It’s our job to:
Pray for those in authority.
We’re pretty familiar with the verse in 1 Timothy 2, where Paul urges:
… 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.
Note that the purpose of our prayers to avoid persecution, so that we can go around telling others about Jesus. Is that what we usually pray for?
Of course, we’re not limited to one topic. For example, we can pray that our leaders submit to God’s authority, that they demonstrate Godly wisdom in making good, moral decisions, that they exhibit integrity, and that they be willing to work in unity for the good of the country.
Pray against the powers of evil.
In the middle of all the ranting and name-calling and heated opinions, we seem to have forgotten that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) When politicians—or anyone, for that matter—expresses an opinion which clearly goes against the word of God—when they lie and cheat and break the law—we need to love them. Pray that God would open their eyes, that they wouldn’t be deceived. Pray they would have the strength to resist temptation and stand up for righteousness. Save the attacks, the hate, for the devil! (It wouldn’t hurt to show a bit of humility regarding our interpretation of Scripture, either.)
Praise God and be thankful.
When the political climate isn’t going our way, it’s easy to start whining and complaining. But when we do that, we’re actually telling God we don’t like the way He’s running the world, and we think we can do better. We’re telling God that we don’t believe Him when He promises that in all things He works for the good of those who love him (Rom. 8:28).
On the other hand, nothing annoys the devil more than when we give God the praise that is His due. Hebrews 13:15 exhorts us to “continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” And remember Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” With Thanksgiving just around the corner, that’s a great place to start.
Praying for and loving others, doing battle against the powers of evil, praising God and thanking Him are good and appropriate responses to any situation, political or otherwise. By focusing on these things, the church can fulfill its role as salt and light in a corrupt and dark generation.