The Politician’s Prayer
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Ps 139:23-24)
America is in a crisis. It involves the COVID-19 virus and our responses to it. People are suffering, not just because of illness but from mandatory shutdowns of businesses and losses of jobs. Political leaders and medical authorities have given different opinions on how to deal with the problem. Many responses have been implemented and others proposed. None of the responses have been perfect.
As an elected official, you are now in an important yet difficult position. If you’re a legislator, you can vote on proposed solutions. If you’re an executive, you can order measures taken to deal with this crisis. Any measure you take, no matter what it is, will affect the lives of many people seriously.
People need you to make the right decisions. You need wisdom. God can give it: “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:6) If you want wisdom, though, you need to fear God first: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:” (Proverbs 9:10)
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 explains what “fear of God” means: “…Fear God, and keep his commandments: …For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” To fear God means you’re willing to obey Him, knowing you will stand before Him one day.
You may not think about God as you pursue your political career, but whether you think about Him or not, God rules over all: “For God is the king of all the earth:” (Psalm 47:7) He controls everything, even the wind and sea: “Thou rulest the raging of the sea:” (Psalm 89:9) “…the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm,” (Nahum 1:3) Think of a storm at sea or a tornado. God controls even them.
God controls the coronavirus. God could make it go away today. You may wonder why God lets this crisis go on. Yet our minds are finite. We can’t know God’s mind: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) Yet we know that “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” (Psalm 145:17)
That said, take a look at our passage. Let its words lodge in your heart. First, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me,” Politicians can use any crisis, including COVID-19, to advance a political agenda. In the process, they can play vicious games with people’s lives. You know it. God does, too. God “…knoweth the secrets of the heart.” (Psalm 44:21) Are your motives and actions honest? If they’re not, you know it. Ask God to forgive you.
Next, our passage says, “…and lead me in the way everlasting.” When you ask God to guide you, it’s understood that you’re willing to do what He wants and use your power lawfully. If obeying God makes you feel you’re sacrificing power, so be it. It’s not your power, to begin with. You only have it because God let you have it–temporarily. If obeying God makes others in your political party unhappy, too bad. You’re better off to be in trouble with them than in trouble with God.
Obeying God often has a cost. Yet 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” Aren’t those words of encouragement wonderful?
God deals with earthly life, but most importantly He deals with eternity. Psalm 85:9 says, “Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him;” Do you have salvation? Are you sure you’ll be in heaven when you die? If you’re not, www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links”, then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” to find out how you can be.
Brian Miller 5/18/2020
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822