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Praying for the Polls

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Pastor Eugene shares five things we can pray for, as Singaporeans prepare to go to the polls on July 10.

This Friday (Jul 10) is the nation’s General Elections. Singaporeans will be voting at polling stations across the country to choose our leaders. We may come from different political persuasions and have diverse concerns. But as the people of God, we have this in common: Scripture shapes how we can pray for the polls. Therefore, as we exercise our civic responsibility, let us do so with prayerful hearts. May God help us to be wise and faithful stewards of our choices. 

Here are five things we can pray for: 

1. Pray for a just and peaceful political process

The Apostle Paul urges that “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people”, including those who rule in positions of authority. This is in order that Christians might “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim 2:1-2). A stable political situation allows believers to focus on proclaiming the gospel and living out God’s word without having to worry about civil unrest. We can be thankful for peace and the religious freedoms afforded us. Let’s pray that the door for the gospel will remain open. 

2. Pray for voters and political leaders to have wisdom

We live in an increasingly complex and unpredictable world. The coronavirus pandemic has added greater uncertainty to an already challenging landscape. Let’s pray for God to help voters and political leaders to make wise decisions. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (Jas 1:5) 

3. Pray for unity

Diverse political opinions have the potential to divide us. Let’s especially pray for the unity of God’s people. Regardless of our politics, may God help us not lose sight of our common identity in Christ—we are brothers and sisters in God’s family. Let’s also remember that our ultimate allegiance is to a heavenly kingdom, not our earthly political affiliations. “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Php 3:20-21)

4. Pray for godly submission to authority

Will we still honour our leaders even if we did not vote for them? Scripture does not directly address this question, since the contemporary political process did not exist in biblical times! Nonetheless, the Bible exhorts Christians to submit to the ruling authorities—not because they were democratically elected, but because God requires it. “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.” (1 Pet 2:13-14) Let’s fear God by honouring those he has placed in authority over us.

5. Pray for an abiding, humble trust in God’s providence

Whatever the outcome of the elections, we can take heart because God remains sovereign and faithful. As Martin Luther put it so well, God and His truth are “above all earthly pow’rs”. God is unfailingly committed to accomplishing His purposes for His kingdom, for His people, for our nation, and for our world. After God dealt with Nebuchadnezzar’s hubris, the chastised Babylonian king humbly declared: “I blessed the Most High, and praised and honoured him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Dan 4:34b-35) 

God is ever in control. He “changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings” (Dan 2:21). He alone is worthy “to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!” (Rev 5:12) Thus, regardless of our earthly circumstances, we can continue to trust that our good and wise God will work all things out for the eternal blessing of His people and the glory of His name. 

That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him who with us sideth
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also
The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still
His kingdom is forever

— Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress

Our monthly Equip class will take place tomorrow (Sat, Jul 11) from 330-530pm via Zoom (https://tinyurl.com/equip11072020). Over the half-year, we’ve been focusing on the fundamentals of the faith. At this session, we will answer the question, “What is the Gospel?” Do join in to learn more about the great salvation that Jesus Christ has accomplished for us. 

This Sunday, we will continue to learn from the Psalms about radical dependence on God. Pastor Ian will be preaching from Psalm 41, which encourages us to keep praising and trusting in our merciful God, even in life’s most difficult days. Let’s ask God to open our hearts to His word, and may His truth bring comfort and encouragement. 

After the service this Sunday (Jul 12), there will be an online meeting at 11am to welcome newcomers to our church. This is an opportunity to get to know GBC better and meet some our leaders and members. So if you are new to the church, I’d like to invite you to join our newcomers’ meeting via this link: https://tinyurl.com/newcomersmeeting 

The Church Matters membership class will begin next Sunday (Jul 19) and will run for three consecutive Sundays until August 2. The class will take place online from 11am-1230pm. You can attend via this link: https://tinyurl.com/church-matters. To find out more about becoming a member, you can contact me at eugenelow@gracebaptistchurch.sg.