1 Timothy 2: 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. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.
8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.
Much has been blogged and spoken in recent days about what we should do as believers in regards to our upcoming presidential election. The above scripture passage summarizes the key element: PRAY. Petitions are pleas for something. Intercessions are standing in the gap for something or someone. Thanksgiving is the characteristic that should govern all our prayers. Believing as I do that this election is historic (as each of them is, but with the condition we are in, this one feels especially so), we should be on our face before our Sovereign and intercede for those in authority and for our nation as a whole.
As you pray, and as you vote, I do want to say one thing that is not a political statement but a holiness statement. Biblical truth must apply to every action we take in life. While in a pluralistic society we can't force unbelievers to live by biblical standards, we as believers should take our personal stand for biblical values. The sanctity of life, all life, as seen in Psalm 139 and other places is a biblical issue that has been politicized. The sanctity of marriage, being between a man and a woman for life, is a biblical issue that has been politicized. Standing with Israel is not a political issue. Romans 9-11 shows that as we are grafted into the foundation of faith through Abraham, so we are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and see that God has plans for His people, the Jews. So this is a faith issue and not a political one. Caring for the poor is a biblical value. Working and carrying our own load while assisting those who can't is a biblical issue. We could go on and on. It is also biblically true we are never to fear, never to be anxious, but let our requests to be made before God and His peace will guard our hearts and minds through Christ. (Phil. 4:6-7) So we don't have to fear the outcomes of the future. At the same time that does not mean that we sit idle and not stand for Christ in our culture.
Let me be clear: POLITICS AND POLITICAL SYSTEMS WILL NOT BRING ABOUT THE RIGHTEOUS LIFE THAT GOD DESIRES. That can only come through doing our work as a church and people change. But the Scriptures are clear that when a nation, any nation, humbles itself before the Lord it will be blessed.
So be informed. Know what you believe from Scripture. Humbly pray, even for those with whom you disagree or even see as evil. Pray for God's will to be done. And then participate by going to vote and let your voice be heard.
As believers who are to shed light in our culture, how we interact with and speak about those with whom we disagree or even those who are our enemies and are mistreating us, reflect the reality of our faith in Christ. So be careful about your speech; fervent in your praying; holy in your living; and faithful in your participation. And God will use you to make a difference.