Invite God into the Process
A 2016 Election Prayer Guide
By Dave Butts
Is positive change truly possible in our nation today?
In every election cycle, American Christians have amazing opportunities sandwiched between grave dangers. We are privileged to be a part of a nation of people who have the responsibility to choose their own leaders. For those believing that godly leaders are a source of blessing to a nation, elections provide us with great opportunity. However, when we begin to put our hope in leaders rather than in the Lord, we open ourselves to grave danger.
God’s Word is very clear about having an undivided heart, trusting only in the Lord. King David, the mighty warrior, says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Ps. 20:7). Awareness of this verse can create a tension in the thinking Christian. Some have overreacted and rejected the political process completely. Such people will be less motivated to pray over the elections.
A balanced and biblical approach, however, allows us to fully participate in the electoral process without falling into improperly placed trust.
Inviting God into the Process
In Paul’s teaching on prayer in I Timothy 2:1–4, one of the major thrusts is praying for those in authority. According to Paul’s reasoning, we want good government that allows us to live “peaceful and quiet lives”—ultimately freeing us to evangelize those who are lost.
Paul would have been amazed that Christians could someday actually take part in selecting those leaders. I believe He would have been even more amazed (and appalled) that many of those Christians didn’t even bother to get involved in selecting those leaders for the purposes of God to be fulfilled.
Praying for the electoral process is the first step in seeing the fulfillment of what Paul is writing about to Timothy. I don’t believe we should wait for a leader to be selected before we move into obedient prayer for those in authority. 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.
- Godly leaders can help slow the erosion of religious liberties in our land, providing an increased window of opportunity for the Church to pray and evangelize.
- The selection of leaders who understand and lead according to God’s righteous standards can bring great blessing to a nation (Prov. 14:34).
- Scripture also says, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisors make victory sure” (Prov. 11:14). The determination of who leads our nation will also determine who advises that leader and how we are guided.
Praying for Our Nation, the Elections, and the Church
The following prayer points cover seven major areas that relate to our national elections, as well as some current flashpoints.
Note that there are more prayer points regarding the Church than any other area. As the Church goes, so goes the nation. Judgment most certainly begins in the house of God (1 Peter 4:17).
This prayer guide is loosely structured for multiple uses. Choose from the suggested topics according to your interest and the leading of the Spirit. An individual might pick out a few prayer points from each category and pray those daily. A group might choose to divide them all among its members and cover the entire guide at one gathering. Some families or individuals may want to pray from this guide for months leading up to the election—and perhaps even beyond. Allow the Lord to lead you as you pray.
1. Our Nation and the Issues It Faces
- Pray for the judges of this nation, that they will seek the wisdom that comes from above (James 3:17).
- Ask the Lord to thwart the efforts of those who would remove religious freedom from our nation (Gal. 5:1).
- Pray for truth to become valued again in American society (John 8:32).
- Pray that our nation will increasingly see that God is our only refuge in the midst of the troubles of this world (Ps. 46:1).
- Pray for our judicial system and lawmakers—that justice for all, tempered by mercy and compassion, will guide our nation (Isa. 1:17; Zech. 7:9; Isa. 28:17).
- Repent on behalf of our nation, because we have turned from making Scripture the basis of law, leaving behind wisdom and looking to ourselves for truth (Isa. 53:6; Jer. 14:14).
- Ask the Lord to pour out a spirit of repentance on our nation, that we might become a nation committed to following His ways (Jer. 29:13).
- Pray that the U.S. will repent of its corporate rejection of the Word of God as the basis of law (Prov. 1:22–23).
- Pray that a holy fear of God will sweep across our nation, leading us back to a place of wisdom and walking in the Lord (Isa. 50:10).
2. The Election Process
- Pray for wisdom for voters and a safe and fair election (Prov.3:21–23).
- Ask the Lord to remove those who might try to unjustly and illegally change the outcome of the voting (Isa. 28:17)
- Pray for a huge turnout of voters who use wisdom in their decisions (Prov. 4:5–6).
- Pray for protection from any attacks from enemies that would prevent or delay the election (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 (James 3:16).
- Pray that candidates will take brave stands for righteousness, even when it may not be well received (Eph. 6:13–14; Isa. 7:9).
- Pray that their families will be protected from harm and unnecessary scrutiny (Ps. 12:7–8).
- Ask the Lord to surround them with godly advisors (Ps. 111:10).
- Pray that each candidate will focus on the issues we face as a nation—and not on personal attacks on other candidates (Gal. 5:15).
4. The Church
- Pray for a spirit of humility in the Church and an outreach toward those whom the Bible calls the least among us (1 Pet. 5:5; Ps. 9:18; Matt. 25:40).
- Pray that the churches in your community and area will preach the gospel of Christ powerfully (Rom. 1:16).
- Thank the Lord for the freedom we have in Him and for the wisdom to understand that freedom (Gal. 5:13).
- Pray for a spirit of consecration and holiness to come upon the Church in America (Josh. 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:15).
- Pray for a spirit of compassion to come over the Church in this nation so that we will begin seriously to live out the lifestyle of Jesus in our communities (Phil. 2:1–4).
- Ask the Lord to help strengthen the trumpet call to intensive prayer, so that it is heard throughout the Church in the U.S. (1 Tim. 2:8; 1 Thess. 5:17).
- Ask the Lord for the Church to rise up with a strong prophetic voice for America (Eph. 6:19).
- Pray for a spirit of repentance to fall upon the Church in America that would cause believers to turn back to God and seek Him (Ps. 53:2).
- Pray for a spirit of courage to rise within the Church, a commitment to enduring whatever it takes to see the fulfillment of God’s purposes in our nation (1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Thess. 1:6).
- Pray that the Church in America will so noticeably live in Christ’s peace (Col. 3:15) that His peace comes into the councils of our nation.
- Pray for a movement of the Spirit that creates a dramatic cultural transformation in the United States, bringing about a nation that has learned to put its hope in the Word of God (Rom. 12:2).
- Ask the Lord to awaken the Church to the temporary nature of the nations and to the eternal nature of the reign of God (Ps. 37:20; Matt. 6:33).
- Pray that courage born of wisdom will be given to Christians in places of leadership in government, the courts, and law schools across the nation so that they will stand for a godly basis for law (Josh. 1:9; Ps. 51:13).
- Pray for truth to be an established standard in our news media (Ps. 45:4).
- Pray that media bias will be replaced by fairness (Ps. 99:4, 58:1).
- Ask that Christianity will receive fair coverage in all reports (Prov. 22:20–21).
6. Spiritual Warfare
- Ask for great awareness and discernment for the Lord’s praying people as they pray over the election (Num. 10:9; Eph. 5:15–17).
- Pray for physical protection for all candidates and their families throughout this campaign season (Ps. 20:1, 91:1).
- Beseech the Lord for a strong hedge of protection around the nation itself during this time of decision (Ps. 33:22).
- Pray for another Great Awakening to sweep the nation as the Lord’s people learn to humble themselves with a contrite spirit, and to tremble at the Word of the Lord (Isa. 66:2).
- Ask the Lord to bring revival to the Church in America (Isa. 64:1–4).
- Pray for the preachers of America to fearlessly proclaim the Word of God regarding sin and God’s love (Rom. 5:8; 2 Tim. 4:1–3).
Flashpoints for Prayer
These are areas of controversy, disagreement, division—and sometimes outright hostility—in our nation. Some would pick other issues than what I have listed here, but I believe we must pray over at least these seven areas, praying with discernment and strength:
- the life of the unborn
- the nature of marriage and family
- religious freedom
- the U.S. relationship with Israel
- the growing threat of terrorism and the fear and mistrust it brings
- racism and its growing divisiveness
- the idolatry of tolerance—and the resulting intolerance for those who disagree with prevailing ideas. This issue greatly impacts the other four flashpoints.
Amen Is Not the End
Prayer rarely stops after the amen. When we passionately cry out to God over any issue, we should, with integrity, find ourselves praying, “and Lord, if there is any way You can use me to be an answer to this prayer, here I am.” When we pray for an election, it seems that simple honesty will then require us to follow up our prayer with voting.
What about broadening the prayer effort beyond your own prayers? Why not start a short-term prayer gathering in your home for the 30 or 40 days before the election? Invite friends or those with similar passion to join you each week for a very focused prayer meeting that asks God to intervene in our electoral process.
In a country with nearly 350 million people, it is very easy to feel as though one person is incapable of making a difference. That is false on many levels, particularly when we consider the power of prayer.
As we pray—even as one solitary person—we are teaming up with the Creator of the universe to change situations. The only way that positive change is not possible is when Christians refuse to pray!
DAVE BUTTS is president and co-founder of Harvest Prayer Ministries and the chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee. This prayer guide is available as a small 16-page booklet that can be purchased inexpensively at prayershop.org. It is also adapted from a chapter in Dave’ latest book, With One Cry: A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America.
(C) 2016 Prayer Connect magazine.
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