Friday, November 4, 2016

Shut the Door

What to do after the election.

Today we will know the answer. We’ll assume by the outcome of the election that our country will take one road or another. Or the road might not seem too different at all from the one we’re on now. In my sliver of America, the Christian community, we have voiced opinions and attended rallies. We have spoken, written, posted and tweeted. In some instances, we’ve argued. And without a doubt, we have prayed, for we consider prayer our greatest hope.

What exactly have we been praying? It seems the consensus is to pray that the lesser of two evils will win this election. Perhaps that should be our prayer, but rulers are appointed by God to achieve a purpose. Whether they are less evil or more evil may be nothing more than God’s determination on timing. Will the America we know become less recognizable now, or later?

After the ballots are counted and the candidates have fussed and strutted, then what will we pray? No more public outcry about this candidate or that one will be required. Perhaps a humbler application is what we’ll need. It’ll be time to go into our rooms, if we haven’t already. Time to kneel in the closet.

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6

What will we pray for in the secret place? A defensive measure might be that public prayer is not outlawed. The trend of the law is to quiet our voices. But no one can stop us from praying in the secret place. Here’s how we must pray after the election when we think it’s all over, because won’t be over at all.

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 Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” I Timothy 2:1-4

When you pray, remembering to be thankful—don’t skip that part—pray that we may lead a certain type of lifestyle. Peaceful, quiet, godly, holy. Should we pray for our agenda? Our rights? Sustaining Social Security? Keeping our churches tax exempt? Appointing the right justices? Securing our borders? Avoiding WWIII? All good prayers, but the motivation behind our prayers should be primarily to extend and prolong the call of the Gospel in this world. For the nations—for our nation. Even for the sake of our national leaders.

So next week, whether you feel like you’ve won or lost, go into your room and shut the door. Pray for the newly elected. For our country. Pray that we in the Christian community might live as God leads us. For this is good and pleasing to God, who desires all people to be saved. The ones across party lines. The ones with ungodly political motives. The ones who celebrate evil’s rule as if it were good. Pray that while the time remains, the message of God’s truth will reach them. All of them.

And then go be a peaceful, quiet, godly, holy, unrelenting force in revealing God’s answer to your prayer. Hope doesn’t quit. People still need to hear the Gospel. And God is not done.

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