Today’s elections will determine the control of Congress – both in the House and the Senate. Thousands of other candidates will be on the ballot across the country. I’m sure I don’t need to convince you to vote. And as followers of Christ, we certainly understand that we should pray. In fact, it is more important to pray right than it is to vote right. The good news is that God hears our prayers. So it is important that we know how to pray.
I suggest five keys to effective election prayers.
1. Pray for a national revival.
God will bless America when America blesses God. We need the healing and revival of God across the land. Those timeless words of the Old Testament ring true: “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 I will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
2. Pray for our leaders.
Commit to this, win or lose. Pray that God will give our leaders wisdom and courage to seek him and lead us. Paul told Timothy, “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” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
3. Pray for God’s sovereignty.
In all things, pray for God’s will. Pray for his perfect plan to be carried out through the men and women who will be elected. The Bible says, “It is God who changes the times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning” (Daniel 2:21).
4. Pray for the real battle.
Our battle is not political, but spiritual. Revival never begins in the White House, but in God’s house. We are in a fight against evil as we defend the faith. Paul said it like this: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm” (Ephesians 6:12).
5. Pray that the church recognizes her true hope.
We must trust that God is able to do what man cannot do. The key to our joy and hope is not in the economy or certain political policies. Our hope was, is, and will always be, in the Lord. The prophet said it well: “Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told” (Habakkuk 1:5).