“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses,
who trust in chariots because they are many
and in horsemen because they are very strong,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!”
(Isaiah 31:1 (ESV))
Last night I had the privilege of opening our local Caucus meeting with prayer. I knew this wasn’t an opportunity to preach a sermon, and I didn’t want to campaign for a particular candidate or cause – but there was something on my heart that needed to be said.
I’ve heard it again and again, “This is the most important election our nation has faced!” Really?!? I’ll admit that this is an important election. Our nation stands at a crossroads; financially, philosophically, politically. The election of the next president will advance the nation one way or another. But does the election of a president really have that much bearing on the future of our nation? In the proper balance of powers, the executive office is just one of three, and our legislative and judicial branches are equally important in determining the direction of the country.
I think what frustrates me most, and what I wanted to communicate last night in my prayer, is that as a Christian, our sense of security and purpose in life should not at all depend upon who sits in the Oval Office, but rather, who is seated on the throne in heaven. Our hopes and fears are not met in the perfect political candidate, but in the sinless Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Contrary to popular belief, America is not the Kingdom of God. As Christians, we are called to be good citizens, and we may love and serve our nation patriotically. But we possess dual citizenship. For we are also citizens of a great Kingdom, a heavenly realm, with Christ as our Lord and Savior.
So I’ll say this from the onset, and it will bear repeating throughout this election cycle: It matters not who is elected, for God is on His throne, and all is right in Heaven. Be active and informed citizens. Cast an informed and faithful ballet. But regardless of the outcome, do not let your hearts be troubled.
Here is the prayer from last night.
Sovereign and gracious God, you are the God of all nations, in your providence and wisdom you cause nations to rise and fall, in the light of your wisdom you guide us through times of abundance and times of want; we thank you for your guiding hand which has lead us in our pilgrimage, and for your graciousness that has blessed our land. Keep us ever mindful of those in this world who do not share such blessing and live under tyrannical oppression; may your justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Almighty God, we thank you for our freedom – given in your grace, secured in your Son Jesus Christ, and defended by the generations who have gone before us – our freedom to gather in peaceful assembly tonight to choose delegates to represent us and to speak to the nation regarding the field of candidates in our upcoming presidential election. Grant that those who are chosen tonight may be guided by your wisdom, and faithfully represent the people whom they serve.
We confess that too often we tend to trust in the strength of our candidates and elected officials rather than in your Almighty hand; our sense of security and provision depends on whether our political party is in power; and we forget that we depend on you for our daily bread. Teach us to trust in you, and in you alone, for our safety, our security, our liberty, and our happiness in life. Raise up for our nation men and women who, in humility and gratitude, will serve you as they serve this state and this nation. We lift before you our president, and all who have been elected to serve this nation and state, that they may be led by the light of your wisdom, guided by your truth and justice, and that your providential hand may work your sovereign purpose in and through them.
Gracious God, we thank you for your grace and mercy which has guided us through the manifold changes of this life; but most of all, for the love that we know in your Son, Christ Jesus our Lord. In all that we say, in all that we do, in all that we are, may we give you praise, glory, and honor, this day and forevermore. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Grace and peace be with you!