In days to come, many well-known Christian leaders will no doubt be sharing their assessments of the election we have just gone through and what they think is next. I really wondered if I should just dispense with speaking about it altogether, but we all see from unique vantage points, and perhaps mine will be useful to some. As is usually the case, I am coming at this from the perspective of an intercessor.
I know many of my fellow intercessors who are of a morally conservative mindset are currently grieving. Lots of us diligently prayed for a different outcome. We focused our prayer efforts on electing government leaders who would protect the life of the unborn, stand with Israel, and hold the line for traditional, biblical marriage between one man and one woman. It is quite possible that there has been more united prayer going up from thousands of small bands of intercessors across the nation during this election than there has ever been before — at least in our lifetimes. Many of you have fasted and prayed strenuously, and right now your biggest question may be, “Why were our prayers not heard?”
First of all, they have been heard. God answers the heart of prayer more than the specifics of what we pray for from our limited understanding. The heart of your prayers has been for America to turn back to Jesus, to come out of her sinful ways, and for a great harvest of souls to come into His Kingdom. You may not have prayed it out in the same way another person or prayer group did, but that is really the crux of what we have been after, isn’t it? It is the point at which we are in unity. We can continue to pray in the same vein. Press in for America. The answer is not here yet, but it is on the way.
All is not lost. Neither Mitt Romney, nor President Obama, nor any other person ever had the ability to save the nation. Only Jesus can do that. We typically seem to forget that during an election, and start idolizing candidates.
Secondly, although God will ultimately have His way, when His people don’t cooperate with Him, He lets them have what they want for as long as it takes for them to come to their senses. The problem is not really that nonbelievers carried more clout than Christians: a vast portion of the Church chose by their vote to say righteous biblical standards did not matter as much as personal opinions and perceived potential for gain.
The applicable principle is found in 1 Samuel 8. King Saul appeared on the scene during a time when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Eventually, Israel rebelliously demanded a political leader, rather than trusting God to be their King. The Lord’s response was to give them what they wanted. That’s pretty much where a lot of the American Church is currently at, and the only way for our prayers to overcome that is by intercession for heart-change, both for the current Church and for those who will become the Church once they experience salvation.
For a long time, intercessors have emphasized the part of 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face ….” We have been faithful in humbling ourselves, praying, and seeking, and we’ve thought, “Surely now, God must hear from heaven, forgive the nation’s sins, and heal the land.” But there is another part to the verse: “If my people … will … turn from their wicked ways.” Sadly, much of the Church has not yet turned from its wicked ways — but if we continue to pray for revival and awakening, God will soften hearts in answer to our prayers.
Most of what I’ve just said addresses what has happened and why. In the next couple of posts, I will speak in greater detail about where we must go from here. Please stay tuned.