Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven. – Philippians 1:27 (NLT)
Throughout the 2012 presidential campaign, I abhorred television commercials, briefly scanned then tossed “Don’t vote for the other guy” mail, and watched anything but the debates—not out of a lack of interest or a shortage of caring. I care deeply for my country. I avoid things political because I don’t trust things political. I don’t believe I’m being told the truth, the whole truth, the unadulterated truth.
Rather than listen to candidates’ spiels, mostly litanies of their opponents’ faults, I wanted to know what down-in-the-trenches folks thought about the candidates, who not only represented two different political parties but also polar directions our country could take. So I scanned Facebook posts. It seemed that, no matter which candidate folks were for, they were–and are–convinced that their candidate would save America and the other guy would be its doom.
The morning after the election one person was so upset about the outcome, he said he was removing his flag from his home because “this is no longer America!” Person B thought that was funny. Person A didn’t. Then the exchange became heated—and ugly. While their comments gave me insight into what each believed, their method of discussion saddened me and opened my eyes to the deepening, widening chasm dividing America.
In the aftermath of an ugly campaign, a critical election, we need to be reminded of our true citizenship. If you belong to Christ, you’re a citizen of two realms: this world and heaven. Which is more important? Which kingdom will last forever? How do you live in a world that is becoming increasingly anti-Christ?
Jesus answered a trick question his enemies, the Pharisees, posed with the advice to “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God” (Mark 12:17 NLT). He obeyed the laws of an ungodly government, paid His taxes, without complaining, yet still submitted to His heavenly Father. St. Paul instructed the Romans to submit to the governing authorities because all authority comes from God (Romans 13:1). And remember, the Romans were no friends of Christianity. Paul told the young pastor Timothy to “pray for kings and all those who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1 NLT).
So I will pray for my government leaders, including the President. I will pray for my country and all the overwhelming problems it faces. I will pray that we will once again truly be a UNITED States of America—ONE nation under God.
Dear God, sometimes I’m confused and frustrated when I try to pray for my country—its leaders and its citizens. Help us to build on what binds us, not what divides us. Help me to respect others whose opinions are different from mine—to disagree without being disagreeable. Let us be united in prayer. Amen.
NOTE: Need help in knowing how to pray for America? Check out The Presidential Prayer Team online at http://presidentialprayerteam.com/
Special-Tea: Read Romans 13