We have been told we should be knowledgeable about issues and vote when given the opportunity. We are encouraged to share our thoughts with our elected officials and make our views known. But these are responsibilities of all citizens.
As a believer I have often wondered exactly what role a Christian should play in the world of politics. So I looked into Scripture I saw that God placed many of our Bible heroes in places of government. Let me name a few for you...Moses, Daniel, Nehemiah, Mordecai. These do not include kings, judges or prophets. However, I grew up in a culture that said getting too involved politics was evil and Christians should avoid them. Luckily we have had some 'brave' Christians that have ignored that idea.
As time has gone by I have noticed, that much of the idea of public service has been replaced with partisan politics and personal gain or power. Not everyone is called upon to be a government servant but each of us is called upon to be involved in the political process.
I like what Franklin Graham said on this subject. ' Interceding for those in authority is not an option. It is a biblical command that we are to obey. “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” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, KJV).
We know from Scripture that God can turn the hearts of kings (Proverbs 21:1). That means that we should be praying for God’s will to be done and for our leaders to seek God and listen to Him. We should pray that they would be surrounded by godly counsel and, most important, that our leadership would personally know God and the salvation found through faith in Jesus Christ alone.'
So my starting point was to pray for the leaders of our city, county, state and country. I didn't have to know all their names [though that would make them more real]. Nor did I have to know all that was going on in public or private regarding their governing. But being informed let me pray more effectively. One thing I noticed was as I prayed for them they no longer were from one party or another but people in leadership that needed God to help them make good decisions.
As I continued my searching I came across this Scripture. Matthew 5: 43-48 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you,love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you,what reward will you get?Do not even tax collectors do the same?And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even Gentiles do the same?
At first some of the wording seemed not related to me in my modern world, but as I researched more I found it most certainly did. The tax collectorwas an unscrupulous man. He lied, cheated and lined his purse with ill gotten gain. The Gentiles were those who were considered backward and even barbaric as the Romans were Gentiles. And an enemy was anyone who opposed you or your point of view; some were even violent. Boy, that sure took in a lot of people in today's world. Jesus was not being prejudice in this but cutting to the heart of the bigotry of His day. He was saying everyone deserved to be prayed for and loved regardless of color, creed or political point of view.
That's when I started praying for the terrorists of our day. The violent protester, the law breakers and the bigot. They were people that needed to be stopped or helped by God. They were people who would face eternity just like me and would go to heaven or hell. And since many of them would not pray for themselves or perhaps not even know to pray for themselves, I could invite God into their lives by my intercessory prayers.
Will my prayers change them, not necessarily, but by inviting God to intervene in their lives, they had a better chance of changing. God has a chance to stop their evil behavior and to protect the innocents they attacked. For we know God does not force Himself on anyone but He will get involved in situations to which He is invited.
In conclusion I have come to realize that God does choose some of His children to be members of our governing bodies. He raises up leaders that can help us keep our country on the right path. But He expects all of us to pray for one another regardless. That is how He has always worked with mankind.
When He is invited into lives in prayer, He is able to do much to keep things right and to protect from danger. He is dependent on us, His children, to help Him by praying for those who are in authority and those that know Him not. When we pray He is able to bring more peace into the world because His power is released by our prayers. Every Christian is called upon to be involved in the world's politics. Whether it be holding an office or on our knees, Christians and politics go together.