USA

ELECTION DAY PRAYER

Written By Pete Greig

‘I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority’ -Apostle Paul

 

Today is Tuesday the 3rd of November, the official day of the US Presidential election. Whether or not you are American, and whatever your political perspective, this is a decision that will affect the world.  Today, we’re going to focus our prayers on this globally significant moment and to pray for our leaders, wherever we are. 

 

Pause

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

 

 

Pause and pray

Prayer of Approach

On this significant day, when emotions are running so high, and America seems so deeply divided, I pray the famous prayer attributed to St Francis of Assisi: ‘Lord, make me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred, let me bring Your love, where there is injury, Your pardon Lord, and where there's doubt, true faith in You.’

 

Rejoice and Reflect

I choose to rejoice in God’s sovereignty over times, seasons and nations today, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of the prophet Daniel:

Daniel 2:20-23

Praise the name of God forever and ever,

    for he has all wisdom and power.

He controls the course of world events;

    he removes kings and sets up other kings.

He gives wisdom to the wise

    and knowledge to the scholars.

He reveals deep and mysterious things

    and knows what lies hidden in darkness,

    though he is surrounded by light.

I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors,

    for you have given me wisdom and strength.

 

Pause and pray

Today I am reflecting on Paul’s exhortation to prioritise intercession for our political leaders.

 

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-3

 

At the time Paul wrote these words there wasn’t a single Christian national leader anywhere in the world. Whatever the outcome of today’s election, whoever ends up in The White House, and wherever we are in the world, we are expected to pray for our leaders.

 

For Timothy, this meant praying for Emperor Nero whose vanity and hostility towards Christians is legendary. Many centuries earlier, Jeremiah told the Jewish exiles to pray for Babylon’s peace and prosperity. Two centuries after Paul’s letter, the Church Father Tertullian wrote about praying ‘for the emperors… and those in power, that their reign may continue, that the state may be at peace, and that the end of the world may be postponed.’* 

Ask

When the outcome of today’s election is announced, millions of people in America and around the world will inevitably feel as if the world has ended, and millions more that the Kingdom has come. Neither conclusion will be remotely correct.

 

How will I feel if my favoured candidate is not chosen? I take time now to imagine that scenario and to ask God for grace to pray for the American president. 

 

Pause and pray

I take time now to obey Paul’s apostolic command by praying earnestly for those in authority over me in my nation, that they will lead with integrity, with wisdom beyond their own wisdom, on behalf of the poor.

 

Pause and pray

 

Yield

As I return to the passage, I open my ears to hear Your Word, and my heart to yield to Your will once again.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-3

My motivation in praying for those in authority over me is ‘that we may live peaceful and quiet lives’ and that ‘all people [should] come to a knowledge of the truth.’  I pray now that God would heal deep wounds of division in America and around the world; that peace would prevail and that the gospel would advance powerfully.

 

Pause and pray

 

Yielding Prayer

King Jesus, I cast my vote for You today. I surrender again to Your way, Your will, Your sovereign plan for my nation. You are the King of kings, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, the Healer and the hope of the nations. Maranatha. Let Your Kingdom come.

 

Yielding Promise

And now, as I prepare to take this time of prayer into the coming day, the Lord who loves me assures me that, ‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed’ (Isaiah 54:10)

 

Closing Prayer

Father, help me to live

this day to the full, 

 being true to You,

in every way.

Jesus, help me to give

myself away to others, 

 being kind to everyone I meet. 

Spirit, help me to love the lost,

 proclaiming Christ in all I do and say. 

Amen.

 

*Tertullian Apology tr. T.R. Glover, Loeb Classical Library (Heinemann, 1931), 39.2

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