When it comes to political campaigns and elections, voting propaganda abounds. We’ve all seen the signs, heard the ads, tuned out the phone calls . . . And, most likely, we all know the importance of making sure our vote is counted on Election Day.
We all know that one vote can make a difference, and we do our part by making it to the polls or voting via absentee ballot whenever city or state or national elections come around.
Some of you may go beyond just voting to helping in campaigns, to attending political rallies, to making your voice heard in newspaper articles or town meetings. Some of you post signs on your lawns and bumper stickers on your cars. Some of you are great at exhorting the rest of us to be more involved politically.
And some you just aren’t into doing much more than voting. I confess, I fall into this category myself. Political news seems to be the same old story over and over again. Sure, I vote whenever an election day comes around, but I tend to ignore all the political ads and tune out any political conversations that take place among my friends. It’s just “not my thing.” I try to keep informed of what’s going on, but that’s about it. I’m sure some of you are the same way.
But is voting (and staying informed) all we can do, especially those of us who don’t want to get our hands dirty within the political realm? No! Scripture is clear that we have a responsibility to pray for “those in high positions” – in other words, our government:
“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.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV
When this passage was written, Christians were under the cruel reign of the infamous Nero. We as Americans have it easy compared to then! But despite the rampant wickedness they faced, they were exhorted to pray, to intercede, even to give thanks for their kings and rulers. Can we say that we do the same for ours?
Remember, Christ died for all of mankind. And He loves all of mankind. And He wants to save all of mankind. This does not exclude selfish governors or sinful congressmen and women. This includes everyone.
The commentator Barnes explains it this way:
“The meaning here is, that while all people should be the subjects of prayer, those should be particularly remembered before the throne of grace who are in authority.The reason is, that so much depends on their character and plans; that the security of life, liberty, and property, depends so much on them. God has power to influence their hearts, and to incline them to what is just and equal; and hence we should pray that a divine influence may descend upon them. The salvation of a king is of itself of no more importance than that of a peasant or a slave; but the welfare of thousands may depend on him, and hence he should be made the special subject of prayer.”
And Adam Clarke expounds on why we should pray for our leaders:
“We thus pray for the government that the public peace may be preserved. Good rulers have power to do much good; we pray that their authority may be ever preserved and well directed. Bad rulers have power to do much evil; we pray that they may be prevented from thus using their power. So that, whether the rulers be good or bad, prayer for them is the positive duty of all Christians; and the answer to their prayers, in either ease, will be the means of their being enabled to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
Have you prayed for your leaders today?
Prayed, not just for the ones you want to be elected, but for whomever will be elected? Prayed for those already elected and in office for a few more years? Prayed specifically for their salvation, for God to show His love and mercy to them by opening their eyes to His truth?
Their spiritual needs are far greater than our physical needs. We may suffer on this earth if they make unwise decisions, but they will suffer for eternity if they remain ignorant of God. They may suffer for eternity if we fail to intercede for their salvation.
Think of the difference that could make in our country!