“First of all, then, I ask that requests, prayers, petitions, and thanksgiving be made for all people. Pray for kings and everyone who is in authority so that we can live a quiet and peaceful life in complete godliness and dignity.”
1 Timothy 2:1-2
On this day before our U.S. presidential election and many other important local and state elections, I invite us to spend time in prayer. More people than ever before have cast their ballots in early voting, but many others will go to the polls tomorrow. Exercising our right to vote is an important part of our life together and part of being a Christian.
Author Ron Heifetz writes a lot about leadership. He says that leaders must have a vision of what the world would look like if it was as it should be and leaders also need to be honest about the reality of what the world currently looks like. Then, he says, good leaders work to close the gap between what the world is and what the world should be.
Scripture calls us to pray for all people, but also specifically for our leaders and those in positions of authority. In these months leading up to so many important elections in the U.S. including for president, I have been intentionally praying for the character, competence and wisdom of our present leaders and those that will be elected.
I have also been intentional about praying the Wesley Covenant Prayer. John Wesley, our founder of Methodism, introduced the Covenant Prayer in 1755. Wesley used the prayer at the beginning of a New Year and at other important times in the life. The prayer is intended to be a way of remembering, renewing and surrendering ourselves and life in trust to God.
It is a difficult prayer to pray honestly, especially when life is challenging and uncertain. Still, I invite you to spend some time with the prayer on this day before election day and in the days of waiting for results to be known. And may our waiting be done in the peace of God, which surpasses our understanding.
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.