“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Can I ask a fairly uncomfortable question?
How often do you spend time praying about the political things that make you angry, anxious, or even judgemental? If you were to compare your time commenting and criticizing others, against your time petitioning God to intervene, how would they stack up?
Trading criticism for communion
The reality is that criticism and complaints come cheap and easy. Especially now, in a time when everyone has a personal platform via social media. Connecting with the heart of God requires sacrifice and trust. It is done without the gaze of a public audience.
Hearts and minds are rarely changed through a thread of Facebook comments, but God continues to transform lives in response to prayerful people.
There is an invitation for each of us today, to step outside of the relatively inconsequential sphere of the digital world. We are invited to dive deeper into the eternally transformative world of the supernatural.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Prayer is a powerful gift we’re given in our relationship with God. He offers us full access to his undivided attention and understanding, even when we’re not at our best. There’s no one else as available, as gracious, and as full of wisdom, as him. There’s no one else who knows us as deeply as he does. Yet he loves us more fully.
In the midst of this political season, God is inviting us to bring all of our hopes and fears before him.
Do you truly believe that God is more capable than you?
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Do you believe God desires what’s best for you and your country?
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and 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
If so, can I encourage you to take every concern to God in prayer? Rather than redirecting your anxiety and fears outward, first take them upward. God desires honesty, and he’s eager to connect with us in prayer.
The power of prayer
There are two major impacts of prayer when it becomes a regular part of our Christian walk. The first is that we are transformed.
Timothy Keller describes it this way:
“God is the only person from whom you can hide nothing. Before him you will unavoidably come to see yourself in a new, unique light. Prayer, therefore, leads to a self-knowledge that is impossible to achieve any other way.”
Prayer is an essential part of walking in the love and humility that we discussed in our earlier chapters. It refocuses our attention on the greatness and love of God and brings awareness to our desperate need for him. Prayer quiets our hearts, changes our perspective, renews our courage, and gives us a greater sense of peace.
In order to be culture-changing Christians, we must first surrender ourselves to the transforming love of God.
The second major impact of prayer is that God listens and responds.
“Then he said to me, ‘Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.’”
God is not a distant and indifferent entity who cannot be bothered by our worldly struggles. Instead, he invites our requests, our concerns, and moves in response to our petitions.
Is it possible we miss out on the miraculous intervention of God simply because we never come before him in earnest prayer? This is not meant to be a shaming question. Rather, it is an invitation to step into a relationship with God that can bring about real transformation in our lives and the future of our nation. Let’s not miss out on the work of God, simply because we don’t ask for him to move.
As we’ve all seen, election seasons are typically marked by incredible divisiveness and frustration. What if they instead became some of the greatest seasons of prayer? What if we sought out a prayer movement more than we chased a political one? And please hear me, this is not a call to inaction, but a call to put the right actions first. Oswald Chambers brings incredible wisdom to this idea.
“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.”
—Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest
Let’s start with prayer. Let’s spend time with the King so that we can step into transformative kingdom-minded action.
Find a quiet place and spend the next 10–15 minutes in a time of prayer. Share your heart with him and be willing to listen.
Ways to Pray:
- Pray for the political candidates on all sides. Ask for God to transform their hearts and draw them closer to his presence.
- Pray for your country, that God would bring unity, healing, and blessing.
- Pray for God to give you wisdom on how to vote.
- Pray for a softened heart that can love others, even those with whom you strongly disagree.
REMEMBER: Anytime you see something in the news or your social media feed that makes you anxious, take a few minutes to bring your anxiety before God. He is available in every moment.
If you enjoyed this blog, click here to read Josh’s full FREE eBook: Peace in Politics: A Guide to Thriving in this Divisive Time.