I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America…
The presidential election is less than one week away, and I feel as if we should change the name of our country to the Divided States of America.
It’s a very sad statement, but one I see more each day. Race pitted against race. Religion against religion. Political party against political party.
People are targeted because they wear a law enforcement uniform. Christians are accused of hatred because of their faith. Women are objectified and treated as lesser humans. The LGBTQ community reels from hatred and disdain. Blacks struggle in the face of racism. Muslims live in fear they will be profiled because of their religion. We all seem to fall into at least one category that feels it is being treated unfairly.
For all the talk of tolerance, we have become an intolerant society. We can no longer sit and have a constructive conversation about topics and policies, because we begin to throw insults at anyone who sees or thinks differently than we do.
Oh, how devastated our Founding Fathers would be! They built this country on open debate, by individuals who came from diverse backgrounds and came together for the greater good. They never envisioned a country run by an elite ruling class, by a group of career politicians so far removed from us, the citizens of this great country. They wanted a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
I can’t say that I’m thrilled about either major candidate. Corruption and greed. Hatred and abuse. Pride and ego. A serious lack of integrity. A desire for personal power more than public service. Absolute disdain for anyone who thinks differently.
I will be casting my vote, and it has not been an easy decision. I will be voting against one candidate while voting for the policies of the other. Vice presidential candidates have a huge impact on who will get my vote. Current hot topics such as health insurance, taxes, the economy are at the top of my concerns. It has far less to do with the candidate than it does with the issues facing our country.
One thing I try to remember is that our government is not under the same scriptural commands as we are. We as Christians are commanded to look after orphans and widows, to care for those in need. We are commanded to pour out love and strive for unity. But that command is issued to Christians, not the government. Our country was created to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity (from the Preamble to the Constitution). It’s sometimes difficult to separate my Christian beliefs from my political viewpoints, but I must remember the purpose of our government. And it is not the same as my purpose as a Christian.
As we head to the polls next week to decide who will lead our country for the next four years, I find myself falling on my knees before God, begging Him to act on behalf of our country. I would like to offer a prayer for all of us as Christians in America on the eve of this election.
Father God, we come to you utterly broken over the condition of our country. It is disheartening to see the division, the hatred, the intolerance. The violence is heart-breaking, and we long for peace in this great country of ours.
We fall on our face before you, confessing our sins. We pray that we as Christians will humble ourselves and pray and seek your face and turn from our wicked ways, so you will hear from heaven and will forgive our sins and restore our land (2 Chronicles 7:14). We are in desperate need of your healing power and your grace.
As Christians, we see our country turning further from you each day. People no longer reverence you, call on you. We shut you out of our public lives. Even more discouraging is how we shut you out of our private lives. We no longer desire to walk according to your ways, your truth.
Help us remember the message of the cross is foolish to those who do not believe! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).Help us remember we cannot expect those who do not know you to understand why we live the way we do. Help us remember we cannot expect this world to live by the same holy standards we strive to live by.
As this world grows darker and more opposed to the things of God, I pray you would let our light shine brighter. May we be a beacon shining brightly in this country! May we prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love (2 Corinthians 6:6). May others see you shining through us.
As you look down on this great country and the mess we have created, we ask that you would raise up a remnant of faithful followers who seek you above all else, whose hearts are pure and whose hands are clean. May we have a single-minded devotion to you, desiring to know you and walk in obedience above all else.
We pray this remnant of faithful believers will have faith to move mountains (Matthew 17:20)! May our faith in the face of an increasingly dark world astound others as we see you move in our lives, providing for our needs as only you can, doing miracles in our midst. And may we never steal your glory, but always use your supernatural work in our lives to point the world back to you, to give you the glory you so deserve.
An important decision will be made next week. We don’t know the outcome, and we don’t know what either candidate will do once in office. Uncertainty abounds, and fear is rampant. We pray you will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you (Isaiah 26:3). Help us remember that no matter who is in office, you still control the hearts of kings. Nothing can touch us that is not sifted through your hands. You are Sovereign, Lord!
Our future is in your hands, and we trust you. We trust you to be our guide as we navigate the tumultuous waters of this world. We trust you to bring good out of all things, even the painful, ugly circumstances. We trust that in your kindness you have called us to share in your eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus, and that after we have suffered a little while, you will restore, support, and strengthen us. You will place us on a firm foundation (1 Peter 5:10). We thank you that even though we are living in uncertain times, we can know that our future with you is secure.
Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of living in this great country where we have freedom to openly worship you. May we never take that privilege for granted, but always guard it and treasure it. May we not live in apathy to you, but live in awe of your love and forgiveness freely poured out for us. Allow our light to shine brightly as our hearts turn to you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.