I have never been too interested in politics. I generally try to stay out of political debates and heated discussions. This year is different.
It seems impossible to avoid stepping in the muck that has been slung recently. Instead of being bored by politicians, I am now stressed out to the point where I completely cut myself off from news at times to divert a panic attack.
As the hurt, hatred, and accusations fly, I feel an icy fear rise within me. Fear for our nation, for what lies ahead of us, and for my children’s future.
Apparently, I am not alone. I have read several articles recently stating that many counselors and therapists are reporting a rising number of their clients having significant anxiety over the election. Some have even given it a name: Election Stress Disorder. Really? Has that ever been a thing in the history of politics?
In grappling with how to process and respond to current news events with a Jesus-follower heart and mind, I have come to the following conclusions. These four principles guide our Christian response to the current election and any resulting anxiety we may experience.
1. Our Prayers Make a Bigger Difference Than Our Votes
Voting is an important civic duty that we should not neglect, especially as Christians. Jesus said we are the salt and light of the earth. We are meant to preserve and illuminate according to God’s truth. This is not the time to bury our heads in despair, stick a basket over our light and surrender to the godlessness of the age. Our voices are needed now more than ever. The Light shines brightest in the dark.
Contrary to some opinions I have heard lately, there is no one right way for a follower of Jesus to vote. God is not registered nor affiliated with any political party. He has not declared His endorsement for any candidate nor will He ever (Jn 2:24-25, NLT).
There are many godly Christians I respect who are choosing to vote in different ways or not at all. They have honorable reasons for doing so. Everyone must vote according to her own conscience. Even though we love and worship the same God, we may not all come up with the same answers, and we really need to learn to be okay with that.
God is infinitely more vast than any political system mortal man could contrive. Sorry folks, but God will never fit into the boxes we try so valiantly to stuff Him into. Nor will He wear any labels other than those He has defined for Himself; and “Republican” and “Democrat” are both noticeably absent from His list.
SEE ALSO: Names of God printables
We must not lose sight of the fact that the power of our prayers extends far beyond the power of our votes.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
~ Matthew 18:18-20
Even though educating ourselves about our options and casting our vote is important, prayer for our nation and our leaders is essential. We will accomplish far more if we are united in our prayers than if we are divided by our opinions.
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Lord, hear our prayer:
You reign over all the earth and you are the King above all other kings. You are higher than any authority or power that claims to be something in this world. We see so many current national and world events where our earthly kingdoms desperately need a touch from your heavenly kingdom. O God, transform our world into a place where You reign. Make our Earth more like your Heaven.
2. God’s Kingdom Trumps America
No matter which political candidate wins in November, we will know that God is still on His throne. He has not lost control nor abandoned us. Each side delights to describe how the sky will fall if the opposing candidate gets elected. But we have confidence that the sky won’t fall until God tells it to (Rev 6:12-13).
God’s kingdom is anywhere that He is ruling. If we are devoted to Him, He rules in our hearts no matter who our elected officials may be. The kingdom of God is present any place we are living out His will, freely expressing His love, and pouring out His grace by the bucketful.
No political party is able to prevent God’s kingdom work in our hearts against our will. If goodness and righteousness fail to advance upon the earth, it is because we, God’s people, have dropped the ball and failed to resist evil (James 4:7). It is not because a particular candidate did or did not get elected.
Consider the balance of these two verses:
Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.
~ Daniel 2:20-22
They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval. With their silver and gold they make idols for themselves to their own destruction.
~ Hosea 8:4
Clearly, God has power and authority to intervene in governments if it serves His purpose. He also allows us free will giving us the option to set up our own governments without consulting Him or securing His consent or direction.
So while God is sovereign over all, He doesn’t necessarily condone all leaders by virtue of the fact that they are in power. God’s kingdom always has been and always will be greater than any earthly kingdom.
SEE ALSO: God is Good and God is Great
God, You are Great printable
Lord, hear our prayer:
Your kingdom is wherever you are in authority. A kingdom is the domain of the king. You are the One True King worthy of our allegiance. We choose to receive and reflect your love in opposition to Satan’s rule on this earth. By doing so, we reclaim in your name the territory he has killed, stolen, and destroyed. Work in us and through us to bring forth your goodness and righteousness here on earth. Let us be active participants in your advancing Kingdom of Grace (Mt 11:12, NLT).
3. Good is Greater Than Evil and More Powerful Than Hate
Hateful rhetoric accomplishes nothing. Grievously, our children can no longer watch our political process in action because our national discussion has degraded to such a despicable level. As parents, we are forced to cover their ears rather than educate them about American politics lest they are exposed to “locker-room talk” long before they are old enough to enter a locker room.
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
~ Proverbs 18:21, NLT
It is a very sad state of the union when I am more concerned about what inappropriate discourse my children will pick up from a potential future leader of the free world than I am from any other source they are currently exposed to.
Shockingly, my daughter’s recent 5th-grade student council election speech had more meaningful content than some political rants I’ve heard recently, and she wrote it herself. (I wish I could say I was exaggerating.)
What is to be our response to this moral descent? We cannot fight hate with hate. It is an ineffective and useless weapon. Hate can tear down, but it is powerless to build up. We must overcome evil with God’s love and goodness.
SEE ALSO: God, You are Good printable
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
~ Romans 12:21
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
~ 1 Peter 4:8
We have no power over what others say, but we can guard our own mouths. As we discuss current events with others in person or online, let us vow to hold our speech to God’s standards rather than the world’s.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
~ Ephesians 4:29
We have heard so much recently that does not benefit those who listen. Let’s refuse to add our own voices to that dreadful cacophony. Let’s stop shouting out what we’re against and choose instead to stand for what we believe in action, in truth, and in love (1 Jn 3:18).
Lord, hear our prayer:
Dissolve our divisions, remove our self-imposed labels and overwhelm our differences with your love. Help us eliminate our judgment and strive for harmony. Let us be unified in loving you back with all we’ve got and loving each other as if our lives depend on it, because they really do. Let our speech give life, build others up, and reflect the love you have for all people. (1 Th 5:11) Teach us how to overcome evil with your goodness and remind us to pray for those we disagree with. Help us to respect all people as unique individuals created in your image no matter how badly the image they reflect is distorted. We have freely received grace from you. Help us to freely give it to others (Mt 10:8).
4. God’s Perfect Love for Us Drives out Our Fear
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
~ 1 John 4:18, NLT
Current events have the potential to provoke great fear and alarm in us if we allow it. God’s anecdote for our fear is His perfect love. God’s love and power are greater than any fears that threaten to engulf us.
To give into fear is to surrender to the enemy. Instead, let us run boldly into God’s arms where nothing can separate us from His love.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
~ Romans 8:38-39, NLT
Lord, hear our prayer:
Jesus, I consider the wind and waves around me and I start to sink in fear. Help me focus on your loving gaze instead. Let me listen to your voice saying, “Do not fear. I am with you.” I’ve heard so many lies recently; I don’t even know what to believe anymore. I choose to believe you. You are Truth and you are Love. I want to soak up your perfect love into every crack of my soul so there is no longer any room for fear.
God is Mighty to Save
However you choose to vote and regardless of who is elected, you can be confident of these truths:
- Prayer will always matter more than votes.
- God’s kingdom will always be greater than the nations.
- Goodness will always overcome evil.
- Love will always conquer fear.
- God will never abdicate His throne.
We are ALL in desperate need of God’s kingdom and The Only King of Kings, our Lord Jesus. We don’t need to make America great again, we need to acknowledge that God always has been and always will be the greatest of all.
The world desperately needs us to demonstrate this truth by actively and deliberately loving people. Jesus said we would be identified with Him by how we love, not how we vote, or what policies we support or oppose (John 13:35).
Let us agree together to pray for our nation and her leaders more than we argue and debate the policies.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
~ 2 Chronicles 7:14
“Gentlemen, I have lived a long time and am convinced that God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? I move that prayer imploring the assistance of Heaven be held every morning before we proceed to business.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
Surely this election perhaps more than any other in the history of America highlights the fact that our true hope is not contingent on any man or woman, but on God alone. America and any of her elected officials are impotent to redeem us. God alone is mighty to save and we must keep our eyes and our hearts ever fixed on Him.
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
~ Zephaniah 3:17, NLT
Lord, hear our prayer:
Forgive us for looking to our leaders to rescue us or set the standard for us. You alone are mighty to save. You alone are pure. You alone are worthy of our worship and allegiance. All our hope is anchored firmly to you and you alone will not disappoint.
Lord, let your kingdom come. Let your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. So be it.
Let this song be the cry of our hearts:
Build Your Kingdom Here
by Rend Collective
But wait, there’s more! See all the free printables to add to your prayer guide here.