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Politics Divides but Prayer Unites

(The following is the September 26 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read 1 Timothy 2 and pay close attention to verses 1-4.)

Few topics divide people as much as politics. People often discuss political matters passionately with little openness to changing their minds. Christians should engage in political processes as concerned citizens but with Christian attitudes that respect others, including those with different perspectives.

The political divide on some issues is enormous. It’s easy to fall into the unchristian and unhelpful practice of demonizing those with whom we disagree, deepening the chasm. This behavior may include frequent criticism of leaders and those in authority over us. We should be passionate as we apply our faith in a fallen world, but reacting to political stimuli with unchristian attitudes, words, or deeds isn't acceptable. It is unchristlike and unhelpful to demean people we disagree with when what they need more is our prayers. Focusing on political differences breeds hate, whereas it is impossible to hate those for whom we pray regularly.

Paul told Timothy, “I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (vv. 1-4).

Sometimes we have godly leaders who honor Christ and his Word, and other times we do not. Regardless, the Bible tells us to pray for all in authority. We must pray for the salvation of unchristian leaders and godly leadership by those who know Christ.

Next Step:

How often do you argue about politics in person or online? Do those conversations honor or dishonor Christ? Do they change anything or anyone for the better? The next time you are tempted to argue about politics, pause and pray for the other people instead.

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