Psalms for the Election – Day 6

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This year has brought us one of the most divisive elective cycles in recent memory. Many people that I speak to, regardless of political affiliation, are not excited about the choices they have for President. Both candidates have characteristics that could be defined as “unfit,” whether it is in temperament, decision making, morality, unpredictability, criminal behavior, experience, judgment, health, or political vision.  It is in this season that we need to pray for our country more than we do for our political parties. We are a nation off-course and the choice of our leader will make irrevocable changes to the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and moral direction we take as Americans.

Therefore, I would like to invite you to pray with me for our country. Over the next 7 days, I will be making a new post each day. Each post will include a link to a reading from the Psalms and a brief instruction on how to use this reading as a guide for prayer. Let us put aside our desire to see a specific person win the election and have the courage to pray boldly for God to stay his judgment and place in office the man or woman who will lead us to be the country that God desires (and designed) us to be. 

Will you please pray with me?


Read Psalm 43

Identify what God is saying about Himself in this passage. Boil it down into a one or two-word summary (e.g., God is ____ ) and confess that truth back to God, asking Him to reveal Himself in this way through your day and this election cycle.

v.1 Confess how our nation has been unfaithful. What have we called gods that are not gods at all? How have we exchanged our glorious God for worthless cultural, political, and social idols? (Jer. 2:11-12) Who or what are they? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how we use the Name of God to excuse the sins of man? Name them by name. If it helps, revisit the prayer guide for Day 3.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how we use the Name of God to excuse the sins of man? Name them by name. If it helps, revisit the prayer guide for Day 3.

Ask God to raise up the remnant within our country who have not bowed their knees to these false idols. Ask that they stand boldly before the wicked and the oppressors. Ask that God vindicate us and plead our cause against an unfaithful nation. That He rescue us from those who are deceitful and wicked. Ask that God will both hinder and destroy the plans of the wicked. That He will not allow them to flourish. May this be the time for the holy to prosper because God is our stronghold.

v.2  Confess that God alone is our stronghold. Confess that you have felt alone and grieving this week. Confess how you have felt like mourning because you have been oppressed by the enemy. Ask God to intervene on behalf of His Name and not our own. Ask Him to demonstrate through our election how He alone is our stronghold and how He has not rejected us.

v.3 Ask God to send our nation His light and His faithful care. Ask that He open the hearts and minds of all Americans during this election. May we be humbled and as a result pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways so that God’s light and faithful care may lead our nation in the paths that we may go.

Ask that God bring us to His holy mountain, to the place where He dwells.

v. 4 Respond to God by going to Him and surrendering at His altar everything that you have used as a substitute  for joy and delight, instead of God.

Sing praise to God. Let His name and His works be proclaimed through the song that pours out from your lips.

v. 5 Do not let your soul harken back to the worries of this world or the fears of what will happen if the “wrong person” is elected. Put your hope in God. Praise Him alone. Make Him alone your Savior and your God.

If you are finding this difficult, pray boldly for a vision of what a life and a country looks like whose hope is not in God. Ask God to reveal to us that our fears come from trusting in unreliable people or things to sustain or save us, not from Him. Ask that God

Wait. Close your eyes if you have to.

Listen.Ask God to reveal to us that our fears come from trusting in unreliable people or things to sustain or save us, not from Him. Ask that God

What is the image He is giving you? Hold that image in your minds eye? Let yourself feel the depth of the pain that comes from such extreme separation from God. Pray that He will keep our country from such ruin.

Ask God to reveal to us that our fears come from trusting in unreliable people or things to sustain or save us, not from Him. Ask that God break us of our tendency to drift away in fear. May we be a people who will yet praise Him, who trusts only in Him.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Quick Thoughts: Whose Joy is It?

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“And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.” (Ezra 6:22, ESV)

Several key thoughts from this passage:

1) As students of history, we have the advantage of hindsight. We know the story and the after-story. We know, for instance, that though the Israelites responded in joy, their joy did not last. Eventually, they lapsed into rebellion again. But is this really abnormal?  Joy, for most of us, is temporary. It is a “now” emotion. It can be summoned by memory but this is only remembering joy. The experience of joy itself is always high, electric, and now. It can last for seconds or, in the case of this verse, it can last for days. But eventually, it passes. The “now” must always conclude and transition into another moment…and another…and another. And these succeeding moments may not be positive, causing us to lose the experience of joy and doubt the God that once lifted us so high.

2) There was one cause of their joy: God and God alone. God made them joyful AND He turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them. In other words, God worked on them both internally and externally to make their joy complete. He did not leave them with the temporary joy of endorphins due to the miraculous change in the political landscape. Rather, God MADE them joyful. He worked in their spirit, pointing them to a joy rooted in Him more than the kings of Earth. This is God-centered joy, the everlasting spring that pours out joy as a response to the person and work of the eternal God. And since He is eternal this joy does not fade away like historical joy.

3)  That is why we do not build a theology around the “now” moments of joy but rather around the God who completes our joy, the One to whom we can sing, “For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.” (Ps. 92:4) and the One in whom we can proclaim, even in life’s darkest moments, “The joy of the LORD is [my] strength.” (Neh. 8:10)

So, here’s my question: Where is your joy? In what or whom do you find yourself rejoicing? What makes you glad? Is it when your moments temporarily align with your agenda or will? Or is it in the eternal God who moves the hearts of His people, and of kings, to accomplish His agenda and will? Let’s be honest here. Who rules your joy? You or God?