Prayer | Focus on These Things

book-1209805With the elections a few short weeks away I am reminded of a season when I prayed fervently for the presidential elections. I felt that particular election would be so critical to our nation’s future and return to God – I had poured out my heart to God about it for months.

If I am honest, I focused on all the things that were wrong with our nation and its leadership. My prayers were driven by fear of the future. I remained convinced that I knew the candidate who should win and I prayed fervently that he would win!

On election night I sat in dismay as I watched the candidate I had railed against with my words and prayed against on my knees accept the concession of the man I knew should win. I told God, “I cannot believe You are letting this happen!”

Then I heard that still small voice in my heart, “Will you honor him if he is president?”

I was reminded then of my father’s words to me as a young child. Respect can be enforced or genuine – there are times when the position is to be honored even though the person may not be respectable. I made a decision that night I would focus on the promises of God for our nation and I would pray those promises over our new president.

The book of Daniel reminds us that God sets up kings and deposes them. The Apostle Paul writes that we are to be subject to governmental authority as unto the Lord. In today’s political environment that is a tough pill to swallow at times. But God… He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that His plans are to bring about peace and not evil, to give us a future and a hope.

Government, elections and politics will never be the answer to what ails America today. We are to pray about what worries us, surrender it to God and be thankful in all circumstances. Philippians 4:8 exhorts us: “Finally, brothers (& sisters), whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about (focus on) these things.” (Parenthesis added.)

We must learn to focus on God’s Kingdom potential rather than discerning the negatives in our life experiences, the world around us and our relationships!

Read Philippians 4:5-8 and ponder these questions as you read:

  1. As you think about the elections and our nation’s political climate – are there areas in your life where you need to think differently about our government and the answer to what ails us?
  2. In what ways is worry or even dishonor in your thoughts and words affecting your ability to focus on the attributes of God that are listed in verse 8?
  3. Ask God: “Show me how You see the circumstances I am worried about and what is it that You want me to do in response to them?”

Father God, You are the King of Heaven and earth. The Lord of all creation, the Ancient of days. Nothings gets by You and You do not fail. Lord, help us to see as You see, pray Your words and heart, not our own. Help us to focus on Your Kingdom and bringing it to our present reality rather than focusing on all the negative things we see could or will happen in our country, our communities and our families. Lord we trust You! I ask You today to give us Your peace that passes all understanding. I claim Your promise to guard our hearts and minds as we face the uncertain days ahead. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

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