“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
(1 Timothy 2:1-4; NIV)
In this important election year, the most fundamental questions about who we are and what is moral are underpinning all the debates and rhetoric. Who should answer these questions?
The Church is designed to foster our spiritual lives, and the government our civil lives. Even so, the Bible indicates that the Church should guide our morals as well as our civics.
It is not God’s will to establish a theocracy. There does not need to be a “wall between church and state,” but there is a clear distinction in Scripture concerning the roles of church and state (government).
Government is not designed to bring spiritual leadership to a nation. The biblical qualifications of governmental leaders are very different from spiritual leaders, including the qualities of integrity, fearing God, and being respected.
Government is not the source of spiritual revival. Our President is correctly called Commander-in-Chief. He is not Pastor-in-Chief. Though we desire our presidents to be god-fearing, trustworthy, and full of integrity, we do not look to them as spiritual leaders.
We pray that every president has a personal relationship with Christ and walks closely in step with the Holy Spirit and in holiness, but we must not seek to rely on his spiritual influence.
Government has the God-given authority to do certain things, but cannot violate what the Founders called our unalienable rights. For example, God has given authority to governments to protect citizens and provide for the common good in regard to infrastructure and markets.
The Church is to influence government indirectly through the moral training of leaders and diplomats, but it is not to seek authority or validity from governments. God established the Church. And the Church stewards the nation, not the other way around. The Church is commanded to influence the government through prayer and intercession, cooperating with the will and plan of God.
As the nation faces some of the greatest crises of our lifetime, we must pray fervently for both the government and the Church to properly fulfill their roles.
Points for Prayer:
Pray for the Church to arise and shine, bringing the Gospel message to every community in America.
Pray for the values of the Word of God to be reflected in the positions, policies, and laws in our communities, states, and nation.
Pray for the Church to have a profound and lasting impact on our nation and this election.
By Dave Kubal
President, Intercessors for America