2016 Election Day Prayer Guide
As an application of our sermon this past Sunday, 11/6/2016, "Citizens of the State, Servants of the King", the post prayer guide below is offered as a resource to help followers of Christ fulfill God's call to pray to the Lord for the welfare of the city [nation, and state] in which we live out our earthly citizenship. In addition to the text below, you can download this resource as a pdf by clicking here.
“ 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.” (Jeremiah 29:7, ESV)
As followers of Christ, we believe that God has called us to seek the welfare of the place in which we live as citizens. There are many different ways through which God calls us to live out that calling: our work, our relationships, our academic endeavors, our cultivation of beauty through the arts, and also through our pursuit of the common good in the realm of politics. In politics, we pursue the welfare of our city, state, and nation by crafting policies, promoting ideas and candidates, and by casting our vote on election day. These are all valid and valuable ways to love and serve our nation. In addition, another means we have but often fail to exercise is to pray.
God calls us to seek our city, state, and nation’s welfare through our labors, and also through our prayers. In prayer, God shapes the attitude of our hearts, the ethos of our city, and ultimately the course of our nation. As a church, it is our delight to both make our lobby available as a polling station, and make our sanctuary available as a place of prayer.
This prayer guide is offered as a tool to help your pray in each of these ways. In it you will find 10 suggested prayers, based on selected passages from Scripture. Passage have been included in this guide for your convenience. Please feel free to take this with you, to help to pray at the place and time of your choosing, or to stay and use our sanctuary as a place of prayer as well.
Prayers for Your Own Heart:
1. Pray for a heart that trusts and finds its source of peace in the eternal King, rather than in earthly rulers and authorities (Psalm 146:3-4). Pray that God would enable Christ followers to live out this peace in the midst of our hostile political climate.
"Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! 2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. 3 Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. 4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish." (Psalm 146:1-4, ESV)
2. Ask the Lord to give you a heart that loves others around you despite their differing opinions, including on politics and policies, and despite their hostility in expressing those differences. Confess any sinful attitudes or actions of your own toward others.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (Matthew 5:43-47, ESV)
3. Pray for a heart that honors and glorifies God by honoring, respecting and being subject to those who have given the authority to govern (see Romans 13:1-7).
"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed." (Romans 13:1-7, ESV)
Prayers for the Church
4. Pray for the local churches of Mason, greater Cincinnati, and the United States, to be faithful in fulling their calling to be “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-16), and an instrument of God’s blessing and influence in the world (Genesis 12:2-3).
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16, ESV)
5. Pray that the Church (all followers of Christ everywhere) would be faithful to pray for their government leaders and elected officials (see 1 Timothy 2:1-2).
"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:1-4, ESV)
6. Pray that followers of Christ would have a growing love for the country where the Lord has placed them, and that they would seek the welfare and flourishing of their nation (Jeremiah 29:4-7).
"7 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." (Jeremiah 29:7 ESV)
Prayers for Our Elected Officials & Candidates
7. Pray that our Government would faithfully fulfill its God-given role (see Romans 13:1-7) That it would be an instrument of justice through its legislation, courts, and policing (Romans 13:1-3), that it would be a “servant of God” for the “common good” (Romans 13:4), that it would protect the weak and serve as an instrument of correction for the wrongdoer (Romans 13:4).
[For Scripture (Romans 13:1-7), please see above under Prayer # 3.]
8. Reflecting Pauls’ words in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Pray that our government leaders and elected officials: “…may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way…”. Pray that the pressure of the public spotlight would not damage the strength and intimacy of their marriage, distract from their calling to love and lead their families, and tempt them away from personal integrity in their lives.
[For Scripture (1 Timothy 2:1-2), please see above under Prayer # 5.]
9. Pray also that they would have the wisdom necessary to lead the people whom they have been elected to lead (1 Kings 3:9).
"9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” (1 Kings 3:9, ESV)
10. Pray that our nations candidates and their families would be gracious in both victory and defeat, that they would cast their cares upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:7), and trust you with the outcome of our city, state, and country’s various elections (Proverbs 16:33).
"6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peer 5:6-7 ESV) 32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. 33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord." (Proverbs 16:32-33, ESV)