May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.”
Psalm 90:17 NIV
Voting is the breath of our country which flows throughout our land and allows us to live and move within the freedoms we’ve been given. Voting allows our voices to speak for the present and the future.
Voting is a private matter with public consequences. Prayer is a private matter with public consequences. Both are protected by our Constitution. Both can be used by God to grow us as Christians when we let Him.
If you didn’t vote and you want to complain, don’t whine to me. I don’t want to hear it.
Really, that’s like complaining about dinner when someone asked what you wanted to eat, but you said absolutely nothing or that you didn’t care. Or telling someone you don’t really care what happens, and then being upset some politician raised your taxes or tells a student in your community they cannot take a Bible to school or pray during their free time.
Yet some have chosen to hold their breath and be mute even as they wonder why “things only get worse.” Could it be we aren’t allowing God to use our votes to be a form of salt to prevent decay? (Matthew 5:13)
The speed at which America can change for good (as defined by the Bible) or worse (also defined by the Bible) is determined by the makeup of the people we vote for to fill local positions in our communities and states and national positions in our country.
Shame on us for not voting (okay, I have missed a few, mainly local elections). Luckily, there is no condemnation to those in Christ (Romans 8:1), but I still may have suffered the consequences of not voting.
Non-Voters and Registered Non-voters
When someone asks you how you voted, it is perfectly acceptable to say, “In America, we have a secret ballot, and I know how to keep a secret.” We have fought for your right to a secret ballot and to vote.
The fact remains if you are registered and do not vote, you are still just a non-voter. You've given up your voice for the present and future of America.
Only 6 in 10 eligible voters cast ballots in the 2016 election. Why would the other 4 in 10 not vote after having gone through registration?
- No candidate is good enough. Variants include: They lie to get in office. They don’t do anything while they’re in office but plan how to stay in office. They take money from big corporations and ignore the little guy. There are only two parties, and neither suits what I really want. We have to choose between the lesser of two evils.
Why should we be surprised by this? Doesn’t the Bible say all have sinned? Really, if God wants to see how faithful we are in our work, why not see if that’s the work you’ve been called to do—run for office after praying about it and talking with people you know. Look at these brave men and women who do run for office! They obviously know they cannot make everyone happy no matter what they do, and they increasingly face rude and obnoxious opposition.
Running for office isn’t for me though, and it isn’t for many Americans. But each of us can work by choosing through our votes who represent us, even if they are not perfect.
Whether they win or not, it is wise to follow up by praying for whoever wins. Both the voting and the prayer are good works which should flow from our hearts as we ask God to affect their heart to lead so we can have a “peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
"To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees." - Billy Graham
- Too busy, and it doesn’t matter. Variants include: The system is corrupt. I don’t have time to figure everything out or who to vote for. Nothing changes, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Power corrupts, so when they get power, they don’t keep their promises.
Some of these should even be referred back to #1 above. Does voting matter? Yes, it is important according to David Butts who wrote With One Cry. It has an entire chapter about praying for elections, but the whole book is focused on a renewed challenge to pray for America.
He lists at least seven areas where our prayers (and votes) are necessary:
- The life of the unborn
- The nature of marriage and family
- Religious freedom
- The U.S. relationship with Israel
- The growing threat of terrorism and the fear and mistrust it brings
- Racism and its growing divisiveness
- The idolatry of tolerance—and the resulting intolerance for those who disagree with prevailing ideas. This issue greatly impacts the other flashpoints.
So if you think your life is too busy to influence these things or that they really don’t matter, then please don’t vote. Just keep your complaints to yourself if things seem to get worse.
What to Do: Come What May--Pray, Vote, Pray
If you feel a renewed desire to vote, then let us know by pledging to do so here. If you’re on a mobile phone, the form may be found at the end of the article. As a legal American citizen with the right to vote, you have the power to exponentially affect the future of America compared to those who do not vote. Use it.
If you are not sure where to register to vote, AFA will connect you to VoterVoice here. Or you can contact your local county clerk, call your mayor’s office, and ask, “How do I get registered to vote?” If you wait too long, you might miss the next opportunity to vote.
If you feel a renewed desire to pray for America overall, I recommend you get on the list to get David Butts’ book With One Cry here. With chapters titled, “Is There Hope for America?”, “How to Pray for an Election”, “The Hope of Revival”, and “Prayer that Changes a Nation” it is easy to see this could be a great resource individually or for a prayer group.
Pray before the election, vote during the election, and pray after the election. You will have then done your best as a faithful servant so America has the best chance to breathe with ease in our freedoms. Butts concludes his chapter on “How to Pray for Elections” by saying:
As we pray—even as one solitary person—we are teaming up with the Creator of the universe to change situations. The only way that positive change is not possible is when Christians refuse to pray!
Just like one prayer with the Creator of the universe can matter, so can one vote.
If you still aren’t certain whether to vote or not or how to vote, then please pray for wisdom. God has allowed us a voice to affect government which even the Apostle Paul did not have.
If Christians could’ve voted to avoid being fed to the lions, don’t you think they would have? Well, my fellow Christian, please vote and be the salt of the earth to help prevent the decay—because it could still head that way. May the favor of God rest on us as we pray, vote, and pray. (Psalm 90:17)