It's Election Day, a day that for many of us seems to stir up a lot of emotion. In recent months the political climate in our country has caused many Christians to worry that almost borders on panic. Such anxiety begs the question: How are Christians to respond to the disturbing events we hear about every day?
On the one hand, God is sovereign and still very much on His throne. Our leaders are like watercourse in His hands (Proverbs 21:1). Nothing will take Him by surprise or thwart His holy plans.
On the other hand, He expects us to pray about the welfare of the communities and nations in which we live. When no one would stand in the gap for Jerusalem, the LORD vowed to destroy it (Ezekiel 22:30-31)
Personally I often have a hard time balancing these two perspectives—of trusting God without worrying, while at the same time interceding for the critical events that could radically affect our nation's future. My friend and the president of the National Prayer Committee, David Butts, recently gave me a copy of his newest book which I've found helpful in navigating this dilemma. In Prayer and the End of Days: Praying God's Purposes in Troubled Times, David says it this way:
"All too often, Christians feel powerless and at the mercy of a very big world. Watching or reading of news events can feel like an exercise in futility and even worse, bring a sense of anxiety and worry into our lives. One way to deal with this is to shut yourself off from the world. Turn off the television news and unsubscribe to your daily newspaper. Doing so may provide temporary relief but certainly does nothing to change the situation.
"There is a better way. It involves a commitment to change your world through prayer. You begin to see yourself as a player on the world stage. Rather than passively watching and worrying, or ignoring and hiding, you begin to take significant action to bring God's power to bear on situations going on in the world."
David goes on to offer practical guidelines for praying about biblical prophecies, spiritual warfare issues, the return of the Lord, the future of Israel, and more. I recommend his book for anyone who wants to do more than worry or hide, but to really make a difference through prayer.
What do you think? How do handle our call to intercede for our world without taking on worry and panic?