Several preachers among Churches of Christ have put together an online event for today called “Let the Whole Church Pray.” You can read about it here. The event’s page calls for Christians to pray for our nation (the United States of America), the elections, this week, local churches, evangelism, young people navigating uncertain times (I would add that we older people need such prayers, too), and unity. The unity we need on both the religious and political scenarios.
Acts 4:23-31 records a prayer by the apostles and the church of Jerusalem during a turbulent time in the church’s earliest days. Apostles Peter and John had been arrested and instructed before their release “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18). They responded that they could not help speaking about what they had witnessed. In the church’s prayer, they prayed,
“Now Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness” (Acts 4:29).
2020 to this point has been a turbulent time for the whole world because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the United States, we have experienced the virus, economic collapse, civil unrest and widespread protests because of shootings by police, disruption to normal routines of work, recreation, entertainment, and even assembling for worship with fellow believers. This also is a Presidential election year that pits two older but very different major party candidates. Christians are supporting each of them because of issues voters support because of biblical teaching. I have already voted – in person. My vote will count and I had a voice in the direction our country should take. I voted for people I trust to speak truth and have empathy, to act with integrity and compassion, to act firmly but fairly. I prayed about my voting before I voted. I pray now that peace will prevail in the aftermath of the election. I hope that all votes that qualified voters cast will be counted so that their voices may be heard. I realize the potential for unrest after the election and pray that whatever the outcome, we work together to restore health and unity in our nation as a whole, in our communities, and in our churches. Let us resolve that “prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings, and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1b-2).
So I urge: Let the whole church pray…for reconciliation, for unity, and for holy, courageous leaders in our congregations and in our nation. Let us determine that we will live courageously for God and for Christ, but also peacefully in all godliness and holiness.
- Biblical quotations are from the New International Version 2011.