When the election is over: 4 ways to pray

Nov 8, 2016

This election will soon pass, and many Christians will be asking, “What now?” We have experienced a long and hostile election season that has divided the nation, sullied friendships, and even strained family relationships. Though we don’t yet know the full implications of this election for the future of our nation, there is one thing we can be confident of as Christians: In the midst of uncertainty and hostility, the Bible calls us to pray. So, here are four post-election prayers for Christians.

  1. Pray for our new leaders. Regardless of your politics, the Bible commands us to pray for our political leaders. Paul declares in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” We should pray for their protection as well as their policies. We should ask that God would bend their hearts to seek the flourishing of our society and protect the most vulnerable among us, including unborn babies.
  2. Pray for our nation. This election has exposed divisions in our country that only the gospel can heal. As Paul says in Romans 12:18, “If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.” Pray that God would enable us to live at peace with one another. Where there are broken relationships or strained connections, let’s ask that he restore civility for the sake of our communities.
  3. Pray for our hearts. The turmoil of the election season has revealed fissures in our own hearts. As the psalmist requests in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” In the aftermath of this contentious presidential season, it is a good time to take a spiritual inventory of our hearts, our words and our actions to see where we may have dishonored the Lord. Let’s pray for him to bring these to light so that his Spirit can work to make us more like Jesus.
  4. Pray for our churches. This election creates a fresh opportunity for our churches to serve our communities and share the gospel. As Paul says in Ephesians 6:19, “Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness  the mystery of the gospel.” The ability for our churches to thrive depends on the restoration of the unity of the Spirit, so we should pray to that end. We should also pray for our churches to be protected from religious liberty restrictions that would prevent them from carrying out our mission.

Praying is the most powerful way we can respond in these days. God’s Word says, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16b). It’s in prayer that we encounter the Living God, are conformed to his will and are empowered to walk in obedience.  Let’s be constant in prayer in the coming days and years, anticipating the ways God will use this chapter in our nation’s history to work all things according to the counsel of his will (Eph. 1:11).  

Phillip Bethancourt

Phillip Bethancourt is Executive Vice President of the ERLC. He leads the ERLC team to develop innovative strategies to equip churches to address the key moral and ethical issues of the day. He completed an MDiv and PhD in Systematic Theology at Southern... Read More