election

4 Ways to Pray for the 2022 Midterm Elections

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Today is the 2022 mid-term election. We’ve been bombarded with political advertisements. Some of us have even studied our candidates and researched the issues. But have we prayed?

To be honest, prayer hasn’t been my first reaction. But as I’ve studied and preached from 1 Timothy, God has been reminding me of the necessity of prayer, even for political matters. Paul writes,

  • First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Paul urges that we pray for everyone, including those in positions of authority over us. How, then, can we pray for today’s election? Here are some thoughts:

1. Pray for the candidates.

When you receive your ballot, you’ll see a list of names of people running for everything from Senate seats to Soil and Water District Supervisors. We don’t know the candidates’ hearts, but God does. Pray that if the candidates on your ballot don’t know Jesus as Savior, that they would repent and believe in him for the first time. If they do know Jesus, pray that they would pursue him and allow him to transform their lives.

Here’s the hard part: Pray also for the candidates you won’t vote for. Their greatest need isn’t a change in politics; it’s a change in heart. And who knows how God could transform a person’s life — perhaps even through a ballot box prayer.

Who knows how God could transform a person's life — perhaps even through a ballot box prayer.

2. Pray that we would vote.

Think about what a privilege we have: You and I have a voice (and a vote) in deciding the men and women who govern us. Most humans throughout history have had no choice in who their leaders are. Yet every election cycle, we get to pick ours.

This right to vote came at great cost. Our Founding Fathers sacrificed to give us this opportunity, and many of your friends or family members also sacrificed to protect this right.

Let’s pray that we wouldn’t take this voting privilege for granted. Let’s pray we would educate ourselves about the candidates and issues and steward our votes well.

3. Pray that we would keep the election in perspective.

We often get fearful when we think about the future. What might happen if a certain candidate or party wins? What if they enact policies we object to? Candidates and political parties often stoke these fears in an effort to get us to vote a particular way.

Indeed, candidates and policies do matter. We should be informed about the issues, filter our opinions through a biblical framework, and make wise, educated decisions at the polls.

Yet no matter who wins today’s elections, these things will still be true:

  • Jesus will still be King.
  • Jesus will still have conquered death.
  • Jesus will have still purchased us into a community called the church.
  • And His church will still have a mission to reach the nations with the good news.

As John Piper once said, “One day America and all its presidents will be a footnote in history, but God’s kingdom will never end.” Whether your favorite candidates win or lose, our hope doesn’t rest in who occupies Capitol Hill. Our ultimate hope rests in a resurrected Jewish Carpenter.

4. Pray that we would love one another.

Recent elections have been particularly contentious, and the 2022 midterm elections are no different. Families and communities have splintered over the decisions we will make today. We see this even most clearly in local elections. Some candidates will win, others will lose — and they still have to live in the same community.

But remember this: When Jesus gathered his twelve disciples, he called two surprising people (Matthew 10:1-4). He called Matthew, a tax collector of the Roman Empire the Jewish people rightfully despised, and Simon the Zealot, a Jewish nationalist who wanted to burn the Roman Empire to the ground.

In any other situation, Simon and Matthew would have been enemies. But Jesus called both of them. He invited them to sit together on crowded fishing boats. He taught them both around campfires. And the Jesus they had in common became more important than the politics that sought to divide them.

The same must be true for us. No matter whether you fill in one set of bubbles or another, the Jesus we have in common must be more important the politics that seek to divide us.

So prepare. Vote. Make your voice heard. But before you do any of that, pray.

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  • election
  • politics
  • public square
Nathaniel D. Williams

Editor and Content Manager

Nathaniel D. Williams (M.Div, Southeastern Seminary) oversees the website, podcast and social media for the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture, and he serves as the pastor of Cedar Rock First Baptist Church. His work has appeared at Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, Fathom Mag, the ERLC and BRNow.org. He and his family live in rural North Carolina.

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