Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 1 Timothy 2:2 NLT
Many have fought for the right to cast the ballot.
The 2016 presidential election year in America was hotly contested. A majority of Americans were not satisfied with the two primary candidates. Some didn’t vote because they didn’t like the proposals of either candidate. Others chose the lesser of what they considered two evils. In the end, the candidate many thought would never win the White House did.
Voting is a wonderful privilege. Some live in countries where they don’t enjoy the privilege. Even in America, the right to vote for women and other minority groups was hard-won through demonstrations, fights, misunderstandings, anger, and finally laws.
While there is no Bible verse telling us to get out and vote—Christians in the first century were under Roman rule and weren’t given the opportunity to vote—there are principles that govern our relationship with the governing authorities. And while a small number of Christians believe we shouldn’t vote, I beg to differ.
I need to vote my conscious—if and only when it has been programmed by the principles of God’s Word. While God’s Word doesn’t tell me to vote or what political party to align with, it does give me God’s moral standards. When possible I should choose candidates who follow God’s principles. Unless the candidate is a Christian—which is often not the case, no candidate will do this completely to my satisfaction. But I can choose the one who comes the closest.
I should make an informed vote. Not liking either candidate, not knowing where they stand on the issues, or not having time aren’t valid excuses. I make time for anything that’s of importance to me—and voting when I have the privilege should be one of them.
I also should pray before and after the election. When I pray, God will guide me to make the appropriate selection. If my candidate of choice doesn’t win, I’m still responsible for praying for them. Early Christians were given this mandate while having no voice in who ruled over them. Whether I have a choice or not, I’m still accountable for praying for the governing authorities which God has established for a particular time and moment.
Voting is a privilege. If you have it, don’t shun it. And after you’ve done it, pray for those who are elected.
Prayer: Father, we thank You for giving us the privilege of choosing those who will rule over us. When we live in countries where we can take part, guide us to make the proper choice and then to pray for those who are elected.