Post Election 2012: "Why didn't our prayers work?"
I have heard this question expressed through sobs, exhausted words, angry emails, and difficult conversations following the election. I have to admit that I am also wondering how God will use this outcome to see His purposes fulfilled in America.
As you struggle with a variety of emotions after the election, I am asking you to take the time to read this entire piece. I believe it is critical for us to be on the same page at this hour.
Consider the following sequence of events from a spiritual vantage point:
1. There was more prayer recorded in the 40 days leading up to the election than in most people's recent memory. One prayer call logged 120,000+ minutes of individual prayer in the 24 hours of Election Day.
2. Eight days before the election, Romney had all the momentum and most political analysts felt he had the lead. They believed he simply needed to coast across the finish line.
3. Seven days before the election, one of the worst storms to hit the Northeast in the last century delivered record lows of barometric pressure (indicating strength), a record high storm surge, and record amounts of snow fall across hundreds of miles of land. "Superstorm Sandy" diverted the entire media for days.
4. The momentum of the election changed, and Romney lost.
One has to ask the Lord, why the timing of such a catastrophic storm? Can we interpret these coinciding events and prayers as an answer from God?
What if we can? I am not convinced in either direction, but the timing begs us to ask God these questions. Did God divert us from a Romney presidency? Is God placing the American population in a setting where we are likely to experience more difficult times ahead and witness the passage of more ungodly laws? If so, could this be a predicament that would prompt the Church to become more desperate for God to move in this land?
I have already written about the observation that there were fewer Christians who voted in this election compared to 2008. If it is God's ultimate desire to see his Church, the Bride, desperate for His reviving presence, we can be certain that He will use the next four years to cultivate and instruct our hearts with this aim. He will use the man who sits in office as a way to accomplish a greater, unanticipated work of grace.
Would you join me in asking the Lord what His message is to the Church at this hour? Intercede that His kindness would lead us to repentance as you meditate on scriptures like 2 Chronicles 7:14, Jeremiah 18:7-10, and Hosea 14:2-6. May our prayers release a sequence of humility and hunger for God that would secure His mercy.
Lawmakers recoiled from the blunt prescriptions of Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan K. Simpson. But their plan has since been heralded by both parties as a model of clear-eyed sacrifice, and policymakers say the moment has come to live up to its promise.
Pray that those in U.S. leadership who are the most influential in financial policy arbitration be given God's wisdom in resolving this "fiscal cliff" dilemma with reasonable resolution. Pray that American enterprise will be creative in developing new jobs with adequate pay for its employees.
"Then Jesus said to them, 'Children, have you any food?' They answered Him, 'No.' And He said to them, 'Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.' So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish."(John 21:5-6)
"On every level - presidential, congressional, social - it was a bruising day for our movement that no amount of spin can improve," wrote Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, in an email to supporters. "Americans had a choice, and they made it. Is the outcome what we want? Obviously not."
Pray for God's will to become the heart of our national leaders' thinking. Pray that the Lord's authority will redeem that which needs amending. Pray for righteous administration of virtuous and moral laws throughout the land.
"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace." (Ephesians 1:7)
In a little-noticed footnote to the elections, votes to fill legislative seats produced the highest number of states with one-party rule in 60 years. Democrats or Republicans now have sole control of the governorship and both legislative chambers in 37 state capitals.
Pray that regardless of party affiliation, the true needs of American citizens will be addressed in an equitable manner. Leaders are elected to serve the public that elected them. Pray that justice and fair distribution of service be made for all.
"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies-in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."(1 Peter 4:10-11)
Pray that our state leaders will exercise good fiscal responsibility in monetary appropriations for state budgets. Pray that the Lord will minister His plan of financial wisdom and blessing upon each state's leaders in the budget planning days ahead.
"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, 'This person began to build and wasn't able to finish. Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won't he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.'" (Luke 14:28-33)
"It's time for the Justice Department to recognize the sovereignty of the states," Brown said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union. "I believe Obama and the Department of Justice ought to respect the will of these states."
Righteous judicial decisions are needed by the U.S. Department of Justice regarding conflict with recently passed laws in the states of Colorado and Washington. Ask the Lord to give wisdom to those who are caught in the middle of state and federal law discord and contradiction. Pray that righteous wisdom will prevail.
"I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things" (Ecclesiastes 7:25a)