In these days leading into an election, as in every day, God calls us to be people of prayer. Prayer is the sustenance of our souls.
With election some 38 days away I invite you to be in prayer each day over the next 40 days for our church, our country, and our candidates.
As we begin a season of prayer for anything it seems proper that we always begin our praying with self-examination. Jesus tells us before we seek to remove the splinter from another’s eye we need to examine our own souls. Maybe you never holler at the TV in disgust, but I have. I know I need to pray and seek God’s forgiveness and guidance. The Kingdom of God always begins with our own individual repentance and return to God. Every movement of the Jesus Community begins when we individually turn to God in prayer and consider our own living.
My constant prayer for our church and every church I pastor comes from Matthew 5:14-16. ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. I pray that we might bear the light of Jesus Christ to a world ensnared in darkness.
This pamphlet not intended to be a voter guide in any political sense. My prayer is that we who wear the name of Christ seek to emulate the character of Christ by practicing good words in a needy world. I have no desire to direct the pushing of any particular ballot button only that we do everything in a spirit of prayer.
I invite you to pick up a candle we lit in our Christmas Eve Service. Place the Christmas Candle somewhere you will see it each day. May the candle remind us of the light God wants each of us to shine into our world. Take the candle home and remember to pray for our country, our candidates and our church over these next 40 days.
Grace and Peace
Prayers and Passages for a Political Season
Christ be the test of every allegiance, preference, position, and ideology I hold. If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? (Luke 9:23)
God of Grace, flavor each word from my mouth with grace and compassion. .I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter. (Matthew 12:36-37) Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4.29)
Strengthen my soul so that I might offer redemptive good will for all people. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:43)
Fix my gaze heavenward so that I see Christ in the hungry, thirsty, strangers, needy, sick, and imprisoned. Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the Kingdom… For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,6 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. .. Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these in my family, you did for me. (Matthew 25:34)
Let me see what is good in government. ‘Show me the coin used for the tax’. Jesus said to them, ‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ (Matthew 22:19)
Help me honor both workers and entrepreneurs. Simon answered, ‘Master, we have worked all night long’. (Luke 5:5) Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. ( 2 Thessalonians 3.12)
May Your peace come. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:16
May you comfort, guide and strengthen all working for justice and peace in armed service of country. “In Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Cohort, as it was called. 2He was a devout man who feared God with all his household; he gave alms generously to the people and prayed constantly to God.” Acts 10:-21
Deliver us from Evil. Matthew 6:13
Guide our leaders and electorate. If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7.14) And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? (Luke 18:7)
Raise up good leaders: You shall appoint judges and officials throughout your tribes, in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall render just decisions for the people.19You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the right cause.20Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue. (Deuteronomy 16: 18-20)
Make us good stewards of Your creation. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. (Luke 12:6)
Direct me to my neighbors concerns. In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Forgive me when I fail. For if you forgive others their trespasses then your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6.14)
Guide my daily living so that others see Christ in all my actions. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Jesus Matthew 5:14
Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
remembering the “mess” our country is in and how limited the choices for getting out- Prayer and believing God hears our prayers and concerns is the only solution for our leaders and country.