Absent From Politics

on .

I can't remember a time when I had missed voting in an election.  I have voted in every general election since I was old enough to pull that first lever in 1980.  It is entirely possible that I may have missed a couple of special elections held here or there in the past 32 years, but generally I am present in the polling place every chance I get.  Too many Americans have spilled their blood to preserve this precious opportunity over the decades for me to treat voting so lightly.  Additionally, apart from being out of state when I was in college, every vote which I have cast has been in Ohio.

 

The most recent records reveal there are 1,205,392 registered voters in the 7 counties including and surrounding Columbus.  The average of participation statewide of those elections in which I have participated is 71%.  The highest voter turnout since 1980 was in 1992 with 77.1% of registered voters participating and the lowest was in 2000 at 63.7%.  Think about it.  If an average of only 71% vote in this election 349,564 people in our area will stay at home and ignore actively participating in the greatest privilege of freedom.  Of course some may be sick, in the hospital or hindered by a family emergency, but the greatest part of nearly three hundred fifty thousand people in our own community are either too busy, too disinterested or too apathetic and will be absent from the voting booths.

This group is absent when their country depends on them - many experts claim that the election in Ohio will decide the next president.  Absent while men are spilling their blood on foreign soil to insure their right to vote in a free election.  They are absent from a government designed to be of the people, for the people and by the people.

Yet there is an even greater travesty than citizens being absent from the voting booth - Christians who are absent from their prayer closet about our country and its political landscape.  God never commanded anyone to vote, but He has commanded believers to pray!

1 Timothy 2:1-4, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

This verse reinforces my belief that every election is an important election and this particular one just happens to be even more important.  Each election determines whether Christians in our nation will maintain the opportunity to serve the Lord as His Word dictates, or whether we will forefeit those opportunities piece by piece.  I cannot allow myself to be absent from the voting booth, yet it is even more important for me to refuse to be absent from my prayer closet about the election.

I was having a casual conversation with another believer (not a member of our church) a couple weeks ago and the conversation turned to the election.  He sighed, threw up his hands and mumbled something to the effect of, "What will be will be, there's no use in getting worked up about it."  I looked him straight in the eye and asked him if he had seriously prayed about the election in our nation within the last month, and he stopped, cast his eyes downward and slowly shook his head.  I wish I could say that he was an aberration to the norm, but I don't really believe so.

I have heard quite a bit about voting according to our Bible beliefs or voting our values - which we should do - but not much about praying according to the Bible.  When a man's prayers agree with God's Word, they become powerful instruments on earth; so allow me to encourage you to pray in agreement with a few Bible principles as we pray for America.

Pray that our nation would install those in office who will allow us to live in peace and freedom while we obey the Bible and preach the Gospel without reprisal.

1 Timothy 2:1-2, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

Pray regularly that those in authority would make decisions which will accomplish the will of God.

Proverbs 21:1, “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”

Ask that the Lord would help us to have the proper spirit toward every official - not simply the ones with whom we agree.

Proverbs 24:21, “My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:”

Romans 13:6, “For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”

Beseech the Lord that our leaders would punish society's evildoers and reward the obedient.

Romans 13:3-4, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

Pray that our officials would be true to their promises once they assume their offices.

Proverbs 24:21, “My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:”

Pray that we will not need to make a choice between obeying the orders of man and his government or the commands of God; and if that choice does come, that He would give us the strength to choose to do right.

Acts 5:29-32, “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”

Ask God to help us obey laws, pay our taxes and keep a good testimony before the lost, by the grace of God.

Romans 13:5-7, “Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”

1 Peter 2:13-17, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

Plead for the Lord's will to be done and that America would fulfill the providential purpose for which God intended and that we would be willing to accept that purpose - regardless of what that may be.

Daniel 2:20-21, “Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:”

The voting booths are open Tuesday, November 6 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Your prayer closet is available all the time - before and long after election day.