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Praying for the election [part 1]

[original posting: 11/3/20]

Praying for the Election

In Paul’s teaching on prayer in 1 Timothy 2:1–4:

1 Tim 2:1-4

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

A major thrust in this passage is praying for those in authority. According to Paul, we want good government that allows us to live “peaceful and quiet lives”—ultimately freeing us to share the truth of the Gospel with those who are lost.

Praying for the electoral process is the first step in seeing the fulfillment of what Paul is writing about to Timothy. 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 a number of compelling reasons:

  • The Bible commands us to pray for those who are in leadership, which would include those who are vying to become leaders.
  • Scripture also says, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers” (Prov. 11:14). The determination of who leads our nation will also determine who advises that leader and how we are guided.

Some specifics to pray for:

1. Our Nation and the Issues It Faces

Pray for the leaders of this nation, that they will seek the wisdom that comes from God. “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17).

Pray that a holy reverence of God will sweep across our nation, leading us to a place of wisdom and walking in the Lord. “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God” (Isa. 50:10).

2. The Election Process

Pray for wisdom for voters, and that we have a sound and fair election. “My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble” (Prov. 3:21–23).

Ask the Lord to remove any who might try to prevent, delay or change the outcome of the election. “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you” (Deut. 3:22).

3. Candidates and Leaders

Pray for the salvation of those who are in leadership of our nation. Ask the Lord to remove all envy and selfish ambition. “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:16).

Ask the Lord to surround them with godly advisors. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise” (Ps. 111:10).

Pray that the candidates focus on the issues we face as a nation and not attacking one another. “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (Gal. 5:15).

Check in tomorrow for more on how to pray for the Church in the midst of this election season.

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