Has there ever been an election season like the one we’re facing now? I honestly don’t think so. From the primary season until this moment, the drama has been unceasing—to the point where many people, frustrated with their choices and the fact that none of the candidates are a perfect match for their ideals and values, have begun seriously considering just staying home on Election Day.

I sincerely hope none of the readers of this magazine are among those people. What lies at stake is simply too important—and the responsibility we bear for our country is simply too great to be ignored.

The bottom line is this: When God made man in His image, He gave us a mandate to govern the planet. As people in whom the Holy Spirit resides, we who are called by His name bear an even greater responsibility to see His perfect will done in our fallen society, and to bring our spheres of influence into alignment with Heaven through both prayer and action. This is not the time to be passive, friends.

Most of you know this. Some, however, will likely want to argue the point with your friendly neighborhood magazine editor. So before that happens, let me just share with you some thoughts voiced through the years by widely respected writers and theologians:

• First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4,ESV)

• “What a faith in the power of prayer! A few feeble and despised Christians are to influence the mighty Roman emperors, and help in securing peace and quietness. Let us believe that prayer is a power that is taken up by God in His rule of the world. Let us pray for our country and its rulers, for all the rulers of the world, for rulers in cities or districts in which we are interested. When God’s people unite in this, they may count upon their prayers effecting in the unseen world more than they know. Let faith hold this fast.” —Pastor Andrew Murray, South Africa, on the verse above, in his 2007 book Helps to Intercession. 

• “You and I can help decide [whether] … blessing or cursing … happens on earth. We will determine whether God’s goodness is released toward specific situations or whether the power of sin and Satan is permitted to prevail. Prayer is the determining factor.” —Pastor Jack W. Hayford, Church on the Way, Van Nuys, Calif., in his 1983 book Prayer is Invading the Impossible.

• Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:17, ESV)

• My son, fear the Lord and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise, for disaster will arise suddenly from them, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both? (Proverbs 24:21-22, ESV)

• When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan. (Proverbs 29:2, ESV)

• “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering … but if we neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all of our glory in profound obscurity.” —Former U.S. Sen. Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

So let’s do our part—in the prayer closet and in the voting booth—and let God handle the rest.

Originally published in the October 2016 issue of Citizen magazine.