On the Side: November 2020
A Call To Prayer
by Sharon Chatwell
In a few days, we will be voting on who will be the President and Vice President for the coming four years. To say that this is important to us all is an understatement. It is not only important to the United States of America, but it is also important to the entire world, especially in light of COVID-19 and its subsequent fallout. Countries all over the world have been affected by the pandemic and by the economic consequences of it as well.
The person who will occupy the White House during the next four years will have to deal not only with the problem of the pandemic, but with how and when to get America back on its feet again economically. These are big issues. They are issues for all Americans to consider carefully while we are preparing to vote.
As wives of doctors, we are no less affected by these things than anyone else, and we are affected by other things more than some. The persons elected as President and Vice President will have significant influence in the coming years over what happens in the field of healthcare. Topics such as healthcare plans, government regulations and all things COVID-19, such as potential vaccines, treatments and support, will all be influenced by the persons we elect.
This being the case, I’d like to issue a call to my brothers and sisters in Christ for prayer (and fasting, as you feel led) over the next day or so. Please pray for our country, for its leaders and for the people running for offices across our land. Pray that they will be worthy of the votes given them. Pray that we as voters will be wise in who we elect to high office. And pray that, whatever the results of the election, we will be able to accept those results gracefully and peacefully. (I am saying that to myself as much as to anyone else.)
I ask also that you pray that, whatever God’s will may be for our country, it will be done. It may not be our will, but we are never wrong to pray, as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, “not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42b NASB).
What does the Bible have to say about our responsibilities as Christians toward our government and its officials? We will take a look at that in a moment. But first, we should remind ourselves just who is in authority over those officials.
In John 19:10-11, just before Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified, he said to Jesus, “‘…Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?’ Jesus answered, ‘You would have no authority over Me at all, if it had been given to you from above…’” (NASB). Clearly Jesus was saying that no person has authority on earth, unless God has given it to them.
In Acts 17:26, Paul was speaking to the Greeks in Athens about the “God who made the world and all things in it” when he said, “He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation” (NASB). This shows us that God decides when and where all nations will exist.
And in Proverbs 21:1 we are told, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes” (NASB). This tells us that God is sovereign, even over kings and rulers, and can use them however He wishes.
The apostle Paul writes about our responsibilities as Christians toward governing authorities in Romans 13:1-7. Please take time to read the entire passage, but here is the first verse: “Every person is to be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (NASB).
Together these Scriptures teach us that God is sovereign, that He created the world and all things in it, that He determined when and where all nations would exist and that He has established all existing authorities and can turn their hearts as He wishes for His purposes.
What should be our response to all of this?
In 1 Timothy 2:1-2 Paul urges that “requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made in behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (NASB). So, we are to pray for those in authority over us, that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
This will help us as we move forward in our purpose, as Paul states in Romans 15:6, “so that with one purpose and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (NASB).
No matter who is elected, we Christians will still be here. No matter who is elected, we have an obligation to pray for them. No matter who is elected, God has given them their authority. No matter who is elected, God is still sovereign and we are to glorify Him, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us continue in prayer and thanksgiving, lifting up His Name and glorifying Him, until He returns or calls us home. Amen.
Sharon is a doctor’s wife and grandmother living in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska. She hopes you will join her in praying!