Every presidential election is important. Many of us believe that the 2020 Presidential election is unusually important. Familiar issues of economy and sexual ethics have had to make room for darker and more sinister threats to the American way of life. No doubt, every Christian has a short list of fervent prayers running up to election day.
In the midst of so many important concerns, I’d like to suggest what is the most important item for prayer.
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price … He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!Revelation 22:17,20)
No earthly concern is ever more important than the completion of God’s kingdom in Christ. That doesn’t mean that we put worldly crises aside and lose ourselves in cloud-gazing. It means that there is no crisis that is unrelated to the kingdom Christ is building. Asking Christ to return and renew all things puts the election in proper perspective. Here are three observations; feel free to add others:
1) Praying for Christ’s return reminds us that the root of every contemporary problem is sin and mankind’s alienation from God. This realization shapes my political goals around solutions that best model Christ’s character, and at the same time cautions me that no significant problem will be completely vanquished until Christ’s return.
2) Praying for Christ’s return reminds us that the consummation of God’s kingdom will come at the end of a long period of faithful witness that extends God’s grace to every kind of person. The witness that accomplishes this will seek peace for my society, apply divine wisdom to real challenges, and build broad social relationships that enable us to live quiet and holy lives in pursuit of the Great Commission.
3) Praying for Christ’s return reminds us that every problem—every single one—will be expertly handled by Jesus Christ at his return—but only for the benefit of those who know him. Therefore, we must pray that Jesus be lifted up to draw people to himself. There is no way for us to look into the future to see which candidates, for good or ill, would best enable this. Therefore, in addition to other fervent election prayers, we should explicitly pray that we will make Jesus visible, understood and accessible in response to whoever wins.
Always praying first for Jesus’ return grounds us in our hope. It does not draw us away from this world, but sends us into it every day with purpose.
Amen. Come Lord Jesus.