INSIDE THIS CONNECTING POINT:
- How To Pray For Our Nation Following The Election
- How To Pray For Our President Elect Following The Election
- How To Act Like A Christian Following The Election
Today, the day following our Nation’s Presidential Election, is a day of rejoicing for some and a day of regret and sadness for others. We all know by now that Republican Candidate Donald Trump has won the 2016 Presidential Election, and will assume our nation’s highest leadership office in January of 2017. The Presidential campaign has been a hostility filled contest, with many bitter words and allegations coming from both sides. And unfortunately, many Christians have participated in much of this adversarial dialogue in their personal encounters with others and on social media, which is why I posted on my personal Social Media yesterday an article titled, “How We Grieved The Holy Spirit In This Election” (http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/).
Right now our nation is greatly divided. Yesterday I taught a leadership lesson to our Staff titled, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.” Unless we somehow come together to some degree in our nation, we will become weaker and weaker regardless of who our President is.
What we Christians all now need to do is pray for God’s help for our nation, people and leaders. No leader or political party can solve the problems and divisions we face as a nation. Only God can do that, so we need to pray for God’s intervention in our nation. And we need to act like the “people of light and love” that the Lord has called us to be. So, I’ve listed some things that we need to be praying for in the coming days for our nation and our new President elect, and some attitudes and actions we need to take as Christians to help bring hope and healing to our nation.
We Need To Pray For Our Nation As Never Before In The Following Days.
As I mentioned earlier, our nation is greatly divided, and in need of God’s help in a unique way.
- We need to pray for a ceasing of the adversarial and hostile rhetoric that has characterized this election process in the past year. Paul said in Ephesians 4:29, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” And we not only need to pray that this negative rhetoric will cease, but we need to put that principle into practice in our own lives.
- We need to pray that our government leaders will turn to God. President Theodore Roosevelt once said: "A belief in Jesus Christ is the very fountainhead of everything that is desirable and praiseworthy in our civilization." Yet today political correctness prevents our leaders from barely mentioning faith. It's as if we are ashamed of what made our nation great. Pray that our next President and our elected Congressional and Senatorial Leaders will be drawn to love and live for the Lord in such a way that their relationship with God impacts the decisions they make and the directions they lead our nation in.
- We need to pray that evil will be overcome in our nation. We need to pray that America's people will be delivered from the schemes of Satan—such as illegal drugs, promiscuity, sexual confusion, fatherlessness and harmful entertainment. Pray that the church will respond by nurturing a new generation of youth who follow Christ. We also need to pray that the forces of crime, violence and racial and social injustice will be overcome in our nation.
- We need to pray that the Lord will protect our nation from our enemies. Whenever Israel strayed from God, invaders appeared on the horizon. When King Hoshea became king of Israel, he "did evil in the sight of the Lord" (2 Kings 17:2). The result? The king of Assyria "invaded the whole land" and put Hoshea in prison. The United States has rarely experienced foreign invasion, but if we don't return to God soon it will be unavoidable.
- We need to pray that economic provision will be experienced by all, not just by the wealthy and elite of our nation. Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” If we want our nation to continue to flourish economically as well as relationally and spiritually, we’re going to have to turn back to the Lord and follow Biblical financial principles with our nation’s finances, and those Biblical principles include taking care of the poor that live in our nation.
- We need to pray for good Judges to be appointed in the days ahead. John Jay, the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, did not hide his Christian faith. He wrote: "The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the Word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next." Today, most of our judges have no knowledge of Christian morality; instead they create their own laws in a moral vacuum. Our judges are now responsible for redefining marriage, secularizing the country and taking away the rights of the unborn. Pray that God will raise up judges who honor God's laws.
- We need to pray for spiritual awakening to come to our nation. In Psalm 85:1-6 we find these words, “Lord, You once poured out blessings on your land...Now restore us again, O God of our salvation...Won’t You revive us again so your people can rejoice in You?” The American Revolution began following a spiritual awakening in our nation, and the fight to end slavery in our nation came as a result of a second spiritual awakening. We need another spiritual awakening in our nation, a turning back to God, so that we can in the future continue to experience God’s blessings in our nation. Remember what the Lord said in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.”
We Need To Pray For Our President-Elect, Donald Trump, In The Coming Days. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:1-4: “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” In 2008, I wrote an article titled, “How To Pray For President Elect Barack Obama.” Now, what do we need to pray for as we pray for President-Elect Trump:
- We need to pray that Donald Trump will govern with godly wisdom and humility. God rewarded Solomon because he asked for wisdom instead of wealth, long life or vengeance on his enemies (see 1 Kings 3:11-12). We can ask God to give our President-Elect the same grace. And we need to pray that Mr. Trump will be humble enough to receive God’s wisdom. Fame, wealth and power often make leaders less wise and open to the counsel of others. The only thing that will guard someone from these pitfalls is humility. May God deliver Mr. Trump (as well as ourselves) from the curse of pride, so that he can receive and govern with godly wisdom.
- We need to pray for wise and godly leaders to surround Mr. Trump. Good leaders cannot do their job alone. Even some of the best leaders have failed because they trusted the wrong people. Pray that Mr. Trump will not select his counselors based on party, race, pedigree or political cronyism, but on godly character and proven wisdom.
- We need to pray for the Lord to give Donald Trump and his advisors insight about how to bring reconciliation to our nation. Some segments of our deeply divided society want nothing to do with Mr. Trump now that he has won the presidency. Even some Christians will be tempted to harbor resentment and nurse political grudges throughout his term in office. Pray that God will grant forgiveness and healing so that leaders on all political levels can have constructive dialogue.
- We need to pray that Donald Trump and his cabinet will be open to counsel from Christian leaders from around our nation. The loudest voices of secular culture —atheists, homosexuals, etc. — would be happy if religion were removed from public life. Pray that Mr. Trump, who claims to have a personal faith in Jesus Christ, will willingly welcome Christian leaders into his company and seek their counsel. And pray that false religious leaders will not have his ear.
- We need to pray for protection for Mr. Trump and his family members. We know that there has been so much hostility with this campaign, that there may be people out there who wish to hurt and harm him and his family members. Also, it’s not easy to live under constant media scrutiny. Pray for Mrs. Trump and President-Elect’s children as they constantly deal with reporters, fans and dangerous enemies. Mr. Trump is not only a politician, but also a husband and a father. Pray that he will excel in those roles even as you pray that he will do a good job as the President of our nation.
- We need to pray that our nation will experience peace and progress as well as provision and protection during Mr. Trump’s tenure as President. The apostle Paul instructed early believers to pray for all in authority “so that we can leave peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy. 2:2). God’s will is for America to experience peace and prosperity so that we can continue to export the gospel to the nations. This must happen whether a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House. As we cry out for God’s mercy on our wayward nation, pray that He will allow us to be a light to the world as we finance global missions, feed and heal the world’s poor and share Christ’s love at home and abroad.
Finally, We Need To Act Like Christians In The Days That Follow This Election. We Christians know that God is ultimately in control of the affairs of all nations, including our nation. And we know that “God is in the midst of all things, bringing about good to those who love Him” (Romans 8:28). So, even during the Election years when our candidate is not elected, we must act like people whose ultimate trust is in the Lord, and we must keep our focus on eternal objectives and not temporal objectives. Here are some things that we can do to act like real Christians in the coming weeks and months.
- We need to prioritize prayer, believing that God hears and responds to the prayers of His people. James 5:16 says, “The fervent prayers of righteous men and women have great power and wonderful results.”
- We need to exercise faith, believing that “God is in the midst of all things bringing good to those who love Him.” Jesus said, “All things are possible too those who believe.” (Mark 9:23).
- We need to “take a stand” for godliness in our region and nation. Paul wrote, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person” (Romans 12:2).
- We need to share our faith with people around us. Paul wrote in Acts 20:24, “Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus...the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love.”
- We need to communicate and demonstrate love to people around us, especially to people that are unlike us in some type of way. Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples” (John 13:35), and Paul wrote, that “love never fails.” May we as Christians rise up at this time as never before to communicate and demonstrate God’s love to people - especially those who differed with us during this election process.
The Apostle Paul wrote the following words in Ephesians 4:1-3: “Lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”
I’m so grateful today that our Celebration Family is comprised of people from all walks of life - from every ethnic, socioeconomic and political background. May we continue to be a Church that “looks like Heaven” and “acts like Heaven.”
Lead Pastor, Celebration Church