Spin doctors and political prognosticators are out en masse, heralding predictions of every kind as the impeachment trial over President Donald Trump begins in the U.S. Senate — a position House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried in earnest to avoid. Yet throughout the process, prayer has been present.
If you’re looking for a political post endorsing your favored forecast, you’ve come to the wrong place. Instead, we’re taking a step back from the drama that has for so long ensnared our government officials. Rather than add one more prediction to the internet, we want to encourage you to pray — for the Democrats, for the Republicans, for the president, and for our country.
As Christians, our focus is ultimately not on the here and now; our gaze is fixed on the coming Kingdom — the restoration of God’s design with a new heaven and earth. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t concern ourselves with the present. In times like these, we are called to set opinions aside and pray for our leaders.
During the invasion of Normandy, as then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation, he prayed, “ I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.”
We should embrace that same posture today.
What should we pray?
Pray for wisdom for our lawmakers, that they will be deliberate with their words and measured in their actions, seeking the counsel of those around them.
Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers. — Proverbs 11:14
Pray the hearts and minds of those in Congress and in the White House will be soft, that the Lord will reveal to them ways in which they have erred. Pray the same prayer for yourself, asking God to separate your political preference from what is right and in line with the Lord’s character.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. — Psalm 51:10-11
Pray that we and our politicians will treat each other with respect, choosing to love and honor each other by valuing one another, regardless of opinion or political perspective. Remember that our hope is found in the Gospel, not on Capitol Hill.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. … Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. — Romans 12:9-10, 12
Remember in prayer that God is still on his throne, that nothing happens outside his control. Even in great turmoil, there is nothing outside God’s command.
Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. — Daniel 2:20-21
As the impeachment trial gets underway this week and continues in the days to come, we as believers will certainly come across opportunities to talk about it. Our friends and families will ask for our opinions (or we might feel tempted to share our unsolicited perspectives), and more important than what we think will be how we communicate.
We must be slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19). Rather than being motivated by frustration, we must be inspired by the Gospel, speaking in love — not anger.
In seasons of great division, it’s wise to remember the words written by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. He wrote, “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”
Use this trial as an opportunity to learn to trust and rely on God more, to listen with greater humility, and to develop an even stronger faith in the Lord’s promises to care for his people.