george hancock stefanI must confess that, in my lifetime, I have never encountered as many Democrats and Republicans who are not sure how they are going to vote in an election. As someone who has lived in this country for close to 50 years and takes my civic responsibilities seriously, I have voted in every election since I became a citizen. This year is the most puzzling yet. I have four daughters who are eligible to vote. As I listen to them, I find out that each one of them is struggling with this upcoming election.

But we do not have is the luxury of not voting. Too much has been sacrificed for all of us to have the privilege of voting for us to abandon it now. There was a time in this country when only the landed gentry could vote, there was a time when only white males could vote, and there was a time when only men could vote. In this moment, each American citizen has the opportunity to vote. This is not a liberty that everyone has around the world. There are still places where certain people are not allowed to vote and there are places where only one candidate is on the ballot.

What can we do besides cast our vote? In the Scripture, we are encouraged and commanded to pray for our leaders. The prophet Samuel disagreed vehemently with King Saul and knew that God rejected him, yet he was the king over Israel. When Samuel bids farewell to Saul, he says, "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23). Samuel could see beyond his disagreement – he saw that while Saul was the king, there was an entire nation to consider. Apostle Paul writes to Timothy, “I urge, then first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:1-4).

Therefore this week, and especially on Sunday as we are gathered to worship the Lord, prayers should be lifted up for God’s will to be done in this country as we go to vote on Tuesday, November 8.