As we approach the nationwide elections, it is more vital than ever to know the purpose of intercession for our nation. People tend to be result-oriented; we like to have goals and get things accomplished. In searching the heart and mind of God to discover the goal of intercession, there is no better source to look at than the Lord's Prayer. Inserted in the middle of that prayer is our goal in intercession: "Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10).
This could not be more applicable than it is during election season. Every election is an election of kingdoms. We have the opportunity to establish leaders who are responsible to steer the course of our country. These leaders bring with them their morals and values, and relationships with those who influence them. They bring their "kingdom." As elected officials, they are then appointed to have authority in a larger kingdom. It could be a city, a district and so forth.
Jesus instructs us to pray "Your kingdom come, Your will be done," and I suggest to you that in our free republic, the election is the ultimate opportunity to see this prayer answered. We have the opportunity to see either the kingdom of light or the kingdom of darkness come to a greater degree.
There are three things that happen when God's kingdom comes. First, His laws are put in place. One of the first things that God did with the Israelites was to give them the Ten Commandments. God did this so that they had a clear understanding of right and wrong. Our Founding Fathers understood this. George Washington said our Constitution would endure "so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people" (The Washington Papers).
Second, when God's kingdom is in place, there are healthy relationships. The last six commandments of the Ten Commandments are all about relationships with one another. Samuel Adams described the importance of healthy relationships when he said, "Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt" (The Public Advertiser, 1749).
Third, when God's kingdom comes, there is an understanding of an ultimate authority. On a number of occasions, the Israelites decided that they did not want to be ruled by Moses and Aaron, and each time God showed them that he was in charge (Num. 16). Our Founding Fathers considered this and sought rulers with this understanding.
Thomas Jefferson said it well when he said, "Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that His justice cannot sleep forever" (Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781).
When we step into the voting booth, we need to understand that we are voting upon kingdoms. Believers in Jesus Christ need to realize the importance of searching for candidates who have kingdom values. The first chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, said, "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers" (Oct. 12, 1816).
Let's pray specifically for three things: Pray that candidates' values would be apparent; pray for truth in the media; and pray the church would have discernment in voting. May "Your kingdom come and Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven."
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