Our nation has come through a bitter political campaign filled with rancor, insult and hatefulness. Most Americans said they were dissatisfied with the presidential candidates fielded by both major parties.
Revelations about each of the candidates’ ethical lapses brought their public and private morality into question, raising doubts about their fitness for the presidency.
The election is over. Now what is our Christian duty as citizens? The New Testament tells us. Followers of Jesus are called to pray for all kinds of people, and especially for leaders in government. 1 Timothy 2:2 says our prayers should be specific and comprehensive: “for kings and all those in authority.” This text tells us that praying this way for our leaders is an urgent priority.
This is a way for the church to be, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “the conscience of the state.” After the election results were in, Russell Moore wrote: “We are not, first, Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or progressives….We are the church of the resurrected and triumphant Lord Jesus Christ….We should be ready to pray and preach, to promote the common good and to resist injustice. We will pledge allegiance to the flag, but we will pledge a higher allegiance to the cross.”
Prayer for our nation and for leaders in government, especially for our current president and our president-elect is one way we can “seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.”
1 Timothy 2:8 says we should pray “without anger or disputing.” In today’s political climate, this verse sounds incredibly relevant. Anger, fear and divisive words have been the currency of too much of the recent political conversation. 1 Timothy 2 tells us to put argumentation aside and come together in prayer for our nation and its leaders.
Our Christian unity is not in a political party or candidate. Our unity is in Christ and the gospel. So on that basis, let us pray.