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The Next President Needs Our Prayers

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
(Reuters photos)

I'm sure there are many of you who, like me, will be happy to see this history-making election cycle come to an end. Regardless of who will become our president, some people will be elated and others deeply disappointed—maybe even angry. This has certainly been one of the more contentious and dramatic campaign seasons since our nation's founding.

Throughout it, I am sure any thinking person had to wonder why certain things happen in politics and, especially right now, wonder how we got to this point. Why are certain people elected president, or prime minister or whatever term of leadership various countries use?

Is it just the whim of mankind through a popular vote? Are elections decided by the economy, the changing moral climate or things going on that the general public does not like? These are all significant and important questions. However, Loved One, the answer is surprisingly simple.

There Is a God and He Is Sovereign

As Psalm 75:7 says, "But God is the judge; He brings one low, and lifts up another." This is one of the most important recognitions that must happen in people's lives. We must clearly understand what sovereignty means. True, ultimate sovereignty goes on forever and rules over all.

However, sovereignty, according to its definition, only affects the person making the choice. It does not guarantee the result of anyone else's response. When we come to the affairs of mankind, the Bible is very clear: God is sovereign. But it is also very clear that you and I are as well!

Now that statement is not some progressive, New Age theory that says we are the same as God. We lack the power and we are not eternal like God, who has been forever and will be forever. We aren't, by any means, little gods.

However, we are creatures who have been endowed with a remarkable capacity for self-determining choice. That is why I want to share with you how this truth fits into where we are as a nation, and how, as a believer, you can respond in a biblical way that honors God.

How Should Believers Think at Times of National Transition?

There is really only one righteous response, but if you are governed by a political mindset, it will not be an easy response. Most people are raised to be creatures solely of this world, rather than recognizing that this is only our temporary address. We are people with a higher destiny and a superior citizenship. Our true citizenship is in heaven.

Understanding this not only affects our relationship with God, others, and the choices we make, but it also affects how we relate to things that take place in the world around us, such as this election. It is important that Christians respond by rising above the temporary, get in touch with the eternal and live wisely and responsibly in that light.

The Bible tells us that beside, behind and beyond the temporary things of this life is the wisdom and purpose of God. We are talking about eternal truth; living beyond the fluctuation of what happens when political situations rise, fall and change, and how we can live beyond the limits of political operations. Who is in office is an issue, but it isn't the real issue.

If our lives become rooted in the shallow soil of political kingdoms rising and falling, the most nourishment we can get in life is what a political system can provide. But if our roots go deeper into a relationship with the living God and an understanding of His eternal truth, we will have a resource of relationship that will anchor us better than the temporary state of our present culture. We will also have the strength and ability to participate in the political systems of our country, which is something I have always encouraged, without being shaken by their results.

Believers are people of two worlds, the question is: Is it clear in your mind which is the grandest and more lasting one?

What I have always sought to impress upon people is that if the living church does not pray for its nation, a spiritual vacuum is created. Whoever is in office is going to be disadvantaged because they are even more exposed to the devastating power of the works of darkness. The Bible gives an express directive for believers, but it is based on the foundational point that God is the one who raises people up to any office. If He does, then we must decide how to respond as believers.

Our political opinions may vary widely, and that is our own personal choice. The spiritual response is what I'm concerned with, because the church has a mission in every political climate.

As Believers, How Are We to Respond in Our Culture?

Loved One, our responsibility is twofold; to love and to pray. Love has to do with our attitude of letting the life of Jesus Christ happen through us. When we let this happen, the almighty love of God infuses our being and reaches out to embrace people in a way that causes them to be drawn towards His love, because they see it in you in a real, genuine way.

The truth is that just as surely as God appoints people to political leadership, he has appointed every single one of us to this specific place and time in history. God raises people up, and He also gives them appointment. You don't have to be an elected official to have an impact. You have a place that God has given you, and you have a responsibility in that place.

Did God make you an American? A Briton? A Nigerian? A citizen of a particular country? If He did, then He has called you to love your nation. Not with blind, misty-eyed patriotism, but with a love that goes deeper than that. When we face times like what our nation is currently experiencing, people can tend to decide to love only the members of their political party.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we have been made members of the family of God and appointed specific roles. Part of our role in God's family is fulfilling our role in our immediate family and in our national family. And God is the person who assigned each role. We have been assigned to love the family of God, the family He gave us, and the people of our land. He calls us to love the whole world, but specifically, we are called to love the people in the country He has called us to live in.

We also must respond by praying. First Timothy 2:1-2 tells us that, "Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty."

Pray whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to pray. But God is not going to inspire anyone to pray out of a context of anger or hate. As long as we pray for spiritual results, we will see fruit from our prayers. People who pray for spiritual results are not swayed by the winds of change, because their roots go deeper than the soil of political climate or whatever other temporary climate comes and sweeps around our lives.

Each one of us has been called to such a time as this; to recognize that prayer has not lost its power. We cannot even fathom how prayer's power is being multiplied through the intercession of the church.

Now, I have no idea how our new American president will lead, but I do know this—he or she will have an infinitely better chance of doing well if the living church of Jesus rises up to pray according to the Scriptures.

Regardless of the outcome, I pray you will join me in loving and praying for our new president, all of our elected officials and our nation as a whole.

"Pastor Jack" Hayford is founder and chancellor of The Kings University (formerly The King's College and Seminary) in Los Angeles and Dallas, and was the founding pastor of The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California, where he served as senior pastor for more than three decades. He is a past president of The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel and has written more than 50 books and has composed 500 hymns and choruses.

This article was originally published at jackhayford.org. Used with permission. Click here to subscribe to Pastor Jack's email newsletters.


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