Letter #686: 2016 Election Perspective

Dear perspective on the election,

Full parking lot. Packed auditorium. Unified purpose.

There aren’t many places that fulfill this description. A sporting event or concert would top the list of possible answers. Last week I found a new answer to the above description.

Traveling in Kansas City, I drove into a full parking lot. I didn’t exactly know what I was going to, but when we pulled in I knew it was significant. I piled out of a van and headed inside. Again, I really didn’t know what I was walking into.

Walking in, I was overwhelmed. The auditorium was packed, and the theme of significance inside me echoed louder. I stood stunned, searching for an open space to sit. After gaining my bearings, I made my way through the crowd. Standing in an aisle searching for a seat, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to a woman offering me the seat next to her. I slid in and sat for the next hour of my life. My world was rocked.

You see, the night before my co-workers and I decided to spend an hour of our day in Kansas City at a place where 24/7 prayer has been going on since 1999. 17 years. I was excited for an opportunity to have an hour of time where I was forced to be still, but I didn’t expect what ensued.

I sat in my seat as people from every race, age, economic status and religious affiliation surrounded me. Nobody told me this. Nobody had to. It was more than evident as I scanned the crowd surrounding me. 60-year-old Korean woman, a 35-year-old massive black man with dreads, a 35-year-old white woman with her baby, a 35-year old white man, a 21-year-old black girl and a 70-year-old black woman. These were the people in my direct line of sight. None arrived here together, however, every single one of them were present for the same reason.

I walked into a room filled with 700-800 other people unified with one purpose: To pray for revival in our nation. Not for a particular candidate or even party to win, but to pray for the heart of the American people to turn to God. The prayer gathering isn’t normally this large, in fact it’s normally in a much smaller venue. But people came in droves to pray leading up to maybe the most controversial election in American history.

I thought I was walking into an hour of opportunity to simply be still before the Lord. In reality, I walked into a sea of fellow believers committed to praying boldly for the hearts of the people of our nation to be softened to the things of God. Salvation was boldly prayed for by hundreds.

And as I sat there as a nobody among the sea of believers, I began to weep. As I observed the room, I witnessed unity among believers the way it was intended to be. Every tribe, nation and tongue at an American level represented. There was unity underneath the banner of God, His Word and the saving power of Jesus Christ. And for an hour of my life I believe I had a brief and beautiful glimpse into heaven. Unity-where Christ’s blood brings people together and sends people on mission to share with anyone we encounter.

For an hour of my life I sat and prayed for the salvation of our nation and our world. I didn’t pray for the outcome of an election. I didn’t pray for a party platform. I didn’t pray for equal rights, taxes, healthcare or the Supreme Court. I prayed alongside hundreds of strangers that the finished work of Christ on the cross would be revealed and understood by the people of our nation. And this is what I continue to pray for today.

God “removes and establishes kings” (Dan. 2:21). He is in control and will not be surprised by what happens in the outcome of this election. Where there is great darkness, light is able to shine all the brighter. Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow, Christ follower (and I’m speaking to myself), I am convinced we will have more opportunity than ever to declare truth in our nation’s history. I am also convinced that it will come at a greater cost than ever.

So after two years of news coverage, it’s time to go vote. And vote I shall, but I’ll also be continuing to pray. For my own boldness and confidence to stand firm in my faith as well as for the softening of hard hearts toward the things of God.

To God be the glory because no matter the outcome we have hope in Christ!


Letter #564: Election Thoughts…

Dear presidential elections,

I voted in my second one of you last week (here’s to absentee voting with no lines!). I will never get super controversial, heated or irrational concerning you, but I do vow to do my best to be informed and actively participate. This being said, I collected a hodgepodge of random thoughts concerning you”…

  • Social media during election day is”…”…fun (obnoxious). Thankful I don’t have to see any more selfies with a dang “I Voted’ sticker.
  • Don’t forget to recycle all those political signs today.
  • How long did it take to find out the winner of elections before technology, social media and exit polls? (I looked it up and couldn’t find it”…)
  • Maybe the even bigger story of yesterday wasn’t Obama winning but that the Senate falling Democrat as well. President and Senate aligning means the possibility of more things being accomplished.
  • Random thought of the night: What would happen if the losing candidate never conceded?!?!
  • Who knew people cared so much about politics?! A) People are funny. Some classic comments made on social media. B) People are idiots. Seriously, think before you post.
  • Is the amount of money spent on political coverage and campaigns considered part of the economic stimulus? It’s baffling to me what could have been done for good with the billions of dollars spent”…heck, we could have paid off half a percent of our nation’s debt.
  • Who’s moving to Colorado with me?? Kidding but on a serious note, our world isn’t getting any more “moral.’ Lord, I pray we, believers, would cling to Your Word as truth and live our lives accordingly.
  • I’m not sure if there’s been a day in life with more “Jesus Jukes’ than today. Believers, put money where your mouth is, rise up, share and live out the Gospel with urgency and don’t just post views on social media outlets.
  • No leader, politician, businessman, athlete, entertainer or anyone else is going to fix our world. We live in a sinful and broken world. It doesn’t matter what policies or programs are put into place, bad things are going to happen. People are going to suffer. At our very core, we are broken, sinful and have failed to meet God’s standard. He is holy; we are not. We deserve hell, but our God is SO good He made a way for us to be in fellowship with Him. It’s through faith in Christ alone. Jesus is our eternal hope. We need Christ. If we want hope, we’re not going to find it in earthly things, a political candidate or anything else. We need to realize our need for a Savior. We are in desperate need of repentance. Lord, we need You. Remind us of this as everyone is freaking out or celebrating about an election.
  • God is sovereign. He establishes and removes authority. He is bigger than any man made institution. God is God and He will always sit on the throne. Don’t forget this…ever. Daniel 2:20-21; Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17;

I’m really thankful you’re over. Let’s all move on regardless of who we voted for or where we stand. Obama is the president of the United States. We aren’t a country of two parties; we’re a country of Americans. You are final. Let’s come together. Be as invested in our world as the comments on social media have been the last three months. Let’s be the change we want to see.

Thankful for the right to vote and praying for repentance among mankind far more than for political business,

Election observer