“First of all, then, 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 come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (HCSB)
Beginning in just a few days, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention are launching an effort to encourage Christians to pray for the upcoming U.S. presidential election. The initiative is called the 40/40 Prayer Vigil for Spiritual Revival and National Renewal, as the vigil is scheduled for 40 days—from September 26 to November 4.
Each national election cycle since 2008, the two Southern Baptist organizations have partnered to sponsor this non-partisan prayer initiative. It is their desire that as Christians ask for revival among believers and churches, God will spark an awakening across the United States, which will also affect the integrity and character of the type of officials who are elected.
As a resource for both churches and individuals, they have created a prayer guide as a free download in both English and Spanish. There is one page for each of the 40 days of prayer, focused on different theme.
Jeremiah tells the Jewish sojourners in Babylon to seek the welfare (shalom) of the land in which they are dwelling. Similarly, we are sojourners, citizens of another Kingdom, but we live now as Pilgrims in America. Our call as Pilgrims in this foreign land is to seek the Shalom of this country. That certainly means we are to be a people that pray for her good and are active in the civil processes of that country. We should be the best citizens and part of being a good citizen is appealing before the Sovereign Creator for the good of that country. Even if you do not agree with all of the guided prayer points, the ERLC and NAMB have provided a resource to help us think through how to pray for our country and leaders.