Why I’m not Praying for the Outcome of the US Presidential Election

To start off, let me clarify that I am not an advocate of complacency.

I am an advocate of listening and educating oneself before jumping on bandwagons, but I am not against having opinions. Forming opinions is important. I personally have strong opinions about the candidates of this year’s US presidential election, or at least one of the candidates (which I hinted at in a previous post).

However, as a praying person who believes deeply in the power of prayer, I have not been praying for a specific outcome to this election. God has not given me that conviction.

US election fightOne night I tried. But I couldn’t do it.

Despite being sure of my own desires for the outcome of the election, I was faced with the reality that I didn’t know God’s. And despite finding fear and desperation in my own heart when contemplating particular possibilities, I couldn’t find them in God’s.

I realized that God wasn’t worried at all.

Who was I to say that God couldn’t use an incredibly corrupt leader for His purposes? To alert people to a system that needed fixing. To wake up a church that was sleeping. To be a cog in the very great big machine of a plan God has going right now.

I pray as He leads, and He hasn’t led me to pray for a specific person to step into office.

Instead, I’ve been praying for something else in relation to this election: the American Church. And by church, I don’t mean an institution, but a group of people. People who I suspect don’t fully grasp the extent of their influence.

It boggles my mind that while God is God and can intervene in any situation however He wants, He chooses to use us as His hands and feet. And while being used by God could look like casting a vote in an election or posting an opinion blog on the internet, it also looks like many everyday, ordinary decisions.

It isn’t just public policy that changes the world, it’s us.

The way we choose to engage people who disagree with us. The way we choose to help those in need. The conversations we initiate, the notice we take, the love we give. When we stand up for justice, empathize with the hurting, bestow dignity and speak identity, we determine the make up of our country.

So I pray that the people of America would realize that what matters even more than who gets elected this week is the choices we make every day. The words we speak. The things we do or don’t do.

Whoever gets elected, I will be praying for them, because they will need it. But I’ll also be praying for the many ordinary people of America. Because we all have a part to play, and every part is important.



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Elizabeth holds to simple faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is currently pursuing her MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary, so when she isn't busy writing academic papers, she is usually out enjoying the LA sunshine. She is constantly learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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