Freedom in Prayer

By Andy McQuitty

The 2016 presidential election is only 12 weeks away, and up until last week I’ve been wondering if I can take it anymore.

I’ve been perplexed and aggravated with the voting choices I have as a Christian citizen of these United States of America. I mean, really? These two are the only choices we are being offered for the highest office in our land? Oi!

My agitation has played out in a variety of ways from yelling at the TV (even more than usual), having heated debates with folks on my own side of the aisle, and shanking four golf balls in one round of golf (yes, politics alone made me do it!).

Perhaps you are with me in feeling like I’ve been shouldering the responsibility of trying all I can do to get the best (or actually, the least worst!) candidate elected even though burdened with a heavy heart and an increasingly pessimistic outlook.

But then, last week I read these words from Daniel as I was preparing to preach Daniel 4 at IBC,

Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to him. “It is he who changes the times and the epochs; he removes kings and establishes kings; he gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. It is he who reveals the profound and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with him” (Daniel 2:20–22).

What? It’s God who ultimately raises up and puts down world leaders? Yep, appears that way.

Hear Solomon’s echo of Daniel’s declaration: "By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice” (Proverbs 8:15). In other words, people like me who have been worrying ourselves to death about putting the right person in the White House are actually borrowing trouble needlessly.

Ultimately, God decides who wins in November, and that fact alone renders all my TV verbal abuse, fighting with friends and golf ball shanking utterly futile and silly exercises. God’s going to do his thing. That means the pressure’s off us. And that makes me a much happier guy almost immediately (and that makes Alice a much happier wife almost immediately too).

I’m not using Daniel 2 as a cop out to participating in this election cycle. This is not some sort of “que sera, sera let go and let God” fatalism. I plan to continue to obey Romans 13 by being the best Christian citizen I possibly can by staying informed on the issues, conversing with wise people, and of course showing up in the voting booth. I encourage all Christians to be with me in this.

But as I do all of that from here on out, I’m going to be doing it as a happy and free man who is ultimately trusting God to do his thing with America’s new world leader. Sure, the Lord will use our democratic voting system to seat a new president. But it’s he who makes the final choice, and therefore it’s his president that gets seated.

That, I would submit to you, dictates the Christian’s primary strategy for involvement in this political cycle. It is not yelling at TV’s, fighting with friends or shanking golf balls. It is prayer. If God decides ultimately, then it’s God we should be talking to, it’s the Lord we should be praying to as in. . .

“. . . if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

My friends, we need to pray that prayer fervently in these days. We need to pray that prayer consistently in these days. We need to pray that prayer passionately in these days. We need to pray that prayer joyfully in these days. We need to pray that prayer faithfully in these days. We need to pray that prayer peacefully in these days.

I invite you to join me in this new freedom, and may there be much more praying, much less shanking.

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