Copyright (c) 2016 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. The original story can be found at http://www.bpnews.net/47526/firstperson-after-the-vote
PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) — After we prayerfully vote for our government leaders, Christians have a further responsibility to pray for those who are elected. Here’s a fresh idea for a church or a small group to impact our communities and our nation.
Step #1: Before Election Day, use sample voting ballots to create a list of governmental positions to be elected, including local, state and national leaders.
Step #2: State the goal. As a church-wide project, various groups in the church will commit to pray faithfully for one specific elected leader, and to let that person know they are praying. If this is done as a smaller group, enlist individual members to pray for a specific leader.
Step #3: Make prayer assignments. Each group who commits to pray will select an elected position from the list and intentionally pray for the person who is elected. Involve as many groups as possible — Bible classes, discipleship groups, deacons, committees, music and sports teams, other small groups and so on.
Step #4: Provide sample ideas but leave flexibility in methods toward accomplishing their commitment. Some examples:
— Make a plan to mail a monthly or bi-weekly note to each officeholder from different individuals. It may include encouraging words, prayer, Scripture, your church name and group.
— Purchase a Bible as a gift, writing an encouraging note inside the cover to promise your faithful prayers, with members signing their names. After the election, emboss the leader’s name on the cover and deliver it.
— Prepare a card to mail to the winning candidate immediately after the election. Include a group photo, holding signs, “God bless you,” “Thank you” and “We are praying for you!”
— Post a reminder sign in your meeting room, i.e. “Our class prays for City Council Representative Bob Smith.”
— In your group’s email or mail correspondence, include a reminder of your prayer initiative.
— Voice a prayer for that government official when your group meets.
Step #5: Use 1 Timothy 2:1-4 as a three-step prayer guide: “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Thus: 1) Ask God to help them. 2) Intercede on their behalf. 3) Give thanks for them. Pray for believers as well as unbelievers in leadership. If a leader is not a believer in Jesus, this verse provides an added incentive to pray. We pray for those with whom we agree and those with different views. God says pray, so we pray faithfully.
Proverbs 21:1 declares, “A king’s heart is like streams of water in the LORD’s hand: He directs it wherever He chooses.”
Picture this: A senior adult Bible group prays weekly for your U.S. senator. The media team prays for the state’s governor. The choir prays for a judge. The seventh-graders pray for a city council member. Every group in your church is intentionally praying for a specific elected official, and God hears those prayers.