Father,

Today our nation will elect a new leader.  You knew this day would come before we ever did.  You also know what tomorrow holds for each of us and for all of us.  In countries around the world, leaders rise and fall, but it is you who remains on the throne.  Help us to remember that tomorrow, whether we have voted for a winner or a loser.

It is easy for us to think we know best in these matters.  It is easy for us to hang all our hopes on one man or one woman.  We are prone to think that we know another’s heart, when you alone do.  Our society readily casts judgment at every turn, and your people have joined in the game.  We forget that circumstances can change and people can as well.  We forget that we live in a broken world and that human leaders are human.  We consume much of what we are fed without recognizing that it is meant to arouse our worst cravings and our worst tendencies.  And so we elevate some while degrading others.  We need your mercy.

Some of us throw our hands up and abandon engagement in this world.  And some of us think that this world is where all our energies should be focused.  May we be grateful that we have an opportunity to cast a vote for our leaders.  May we exercise that right with serious consideration and not flippant assumptions.  But may we recognize that broken people will choose a broken leader, and he will never be able to resolve every conflict and every issue.  May we be people who wisely understand the tension of this life, looking with anticipation to our heavenly country and yet seeking your will on earth, as it is in heaven. 

Forgive us, Lord.  We are a weak people, prone to seek leadership we can see over your sovereign power.  We have done so since the days of the wilderness.  We make decisions without wrestling before you to receive discernment and wisdom.  We assume we know your will and arrogantly demand that others follow as we see fit.  Forgive us. 

Help us, Lord, for it is not an easy thing to live in this world and not be of it.  We confess that it is difficult to keep our saltiness.  We have tried on our own, and we have failed.  Corporately and individually.  May we repent, receive your forgiveness, and follow you.

Above all else, Lord, we pray that your church in America would not be taken with worldly things, that we would engage our culture without being shaped by it.  We pray that we would be a people who seek your will according to what we see in Your Word, not in a party platform.  May we not be selective in our obedience.  May we be a people who do not seek power or domination, but rather humility and servanthood ( Phil. 2:5-8 ).  That is your way, Lord.  Teach us to be like you. 

May we be a people who are not swayed to and fro by political winds, but rather may we be a people who put our hope in you and your promise of eternal redemption.  You are the hope of all nations.

We pray these things in the name of our Savior – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords – Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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