Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Election Day Prayer

Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end,
  But establish the just;
For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.
(Psalm 7:9)

My daily habit is to pray through the book of Psalms. There are 150 psalms and 30 days in a month. Doing the math, it works out that I can pray through the book of Psalms in a month, taking five a day. For example, on the first day of the month, I pray through Psalms 1-5, on the second day I pray Psalms 6-10, and so on. Now, I don’t always pray through all the psalms for a given day; sometimes I am moved by a particular psalm, or even by a specific passage within a psalm. So, it’s a flexible plan.

Election day falls on the second day of the month, and doing the math, that means Psalms 6-10. During this campaign season, the prayer that has been continually impressed upon me is this very plea found in Psalm 7:9. “Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just; for the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.” So this psalm, it seems to me, is very apropos for the day.

How will we vote today — will it reflect the righteousness and the justice of God, or will it reflect the wickedness of the wicked? Both are at work in our country, and both are within our reach. The answer lies in the last line of the verse: “For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.” In other words, God is the One who knows the truth about all the candidates. He knows what they have spoken, whether it is truth or lies. He sees the hidden motivations of their hearts. And He searches our hearts and minds as well, to know what we are truly seeking. Psalm 12:8 says, “The wicked prowl on every side, when vileness is exalted among the sons of men.” In the end, we shall all receive what we are crying out for, what we are giving honor to and exalting, whether that be righteousness or wickedness.

So, before we cast our ballots, as Christians we must first search our hearts to know our own motivations. Then we must pray to know the mind of the Lord in this matter. Only then will we be prepared to vote.