This is the time of year when many of us in the United States will be making decisions and casting our ballots to vote for our elected officials. The men and women who are the victors of the vote will then be entrusted with the responsibility of governing over us – in some way, to some extent. Some will govern at the local level. Others will govern at the state level. And still others will govern at the national level. A wise and right response for us as believers, whether the people we voted for won or lost the elections, is to pray for all those who hold positions of influence and power as they govern us.
Not many of us as everyday people, non-government employees, are necessarily governing anyone. Or are we? At least in some way? To some extent? At some level?
Think about who is affected by the decisions you make. Who is guided by the actions you take? Who takes your words to heart? Who takes your opinions seriously? Who is it that you influence – in big ways or small ways, intentionally or unintentionally?
Whether you are an official government representative or not, we all govern in one way or another. We govern whenever we influence others by our decisions, actions, words and opinions. In one way or another, whenever we hold some measure of power to sway the way other people decide, act, speak and perceive, we govern. Those people who we govern – who we influence in any way – are our spouses, our children, our grandchildren, other family members (near or far, young or old), our friends, our co-workers, our superiors, our subordinates, our clients, our customers, our students, our teachers, our fellow believers and not-yet-believers, and on and on and on. And a wise and right response for us as believers is to pray for ourselves – praying, as did King Solomon, that our Sovereign God would give us what we most need in order to use our influence and power over others.
“Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and distinguish between right and wrong.” – 1 Kings 3:9
Are we governing – are we using our influence and power in the lives of others – with a discerning heart? Do we seek God’s wisdom? Do we ask God to lead us with His depth of understanding and clarity of perception, for the people and the circumstances involved, as we use our influence and power in the life of another? Do we seek God’s discerning heart – His heart flowing with love, mercy, compassion, wisdom, righteousness, grace and truth – to lead our hearts, our mouths, our actions and our interactions as we influence other people in any way?
If we don’t do this, or at least not often enough, a wise and right response for us as believers is to pray that we will! And, just as God did for Solomon, I’m pretty certain our God will answer these particular prayers. Our God loves to answer every prayer that will transform us and make us more like Him in any and every loving, wise and right way!