Every four years, it seems that a lot of American evangelicals get really serious about prayer. Many who don’t pay too much attention to prayer efforts in other years start paying attention during presidential election years. I would like to suggest that an urge to pray just during election cycles is not a result of faith in God. It’s really the opposite of faith in God.
The motive behind the newfound attention to prayer in an election cycle appears to be a desire to get the “right” politician into office. That is not an expression of real faith in God. It’s faith in a political leader! It’s almost as though we’re telling God, “Just help us get the right person in the White House and we’ll handle it on our own after that.”
Can’t we see that getting the right person in the White House has not stopped the spiritual decline we are experiencing? Neither Democratic nor Republican administrations have slowed the slide from biblical values. Neither candidate this year, nor any other year, can offer the hope that can be experienced on a national scale only through a great spiritual awakening. Our need for revival will remain after a new President is inaugurated in 2017, and our prayers for God’s intervention ought not slack off until God does what only he can do.
Do I think that everyone calling for prayer this year is politically motivated? Not at all! Some of the leading voices rallying Americans to pray have been consistent over time. Let’s just make sure that we’re not listening to them only during a presidential election year.