Voting and praying
The United States has just had an election. The right to vote gives all citizens a voice in deciding how the country will be run. Christians, like other citizens, should exercise this right, but we have another way we can influence the government and that is to pray for our leaders. Jeremiah sent a letter to the Jews who had been taken into captivity in Babylon urging them to do this.
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jeremiah 29:7)
The apostle Paul gave the same command to Christians.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1,2)
In both cases the reason is the same. We will be better off if we live under a stable government that cares about the welfare of its citizens.
Voting is important but there are limits to what it can accomplish. In the last election the candidates I supported for governor of my state and for my representative in Congress were defeated. In my opinion the ones who were elected to those posts will not do a good job. My right to vote will not be effective in opposing them until they run for reelection but I can pray for them now and prayer is effective.
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. (Proverbs 21:1)
If God can control the hearts of kings he can also control the hearts of governors and legislators and cause them to do good even if they themselves are evil. Every Christian who is eligible to vote should do so every election day; every Christian, whether he is eligible to vote or not, should pray for his government leaders every day. Our votes will do some good but our prayers will do even more.