Are you perplexed by the upcoming elections in America and the overall political process? Is it difficult for you to know how to posture yourself? Do you struggle with how to be a godly, effective citizen in these times, wondering how to make the most positive impact?
Truly, these are extraordinary days. Many people I have encountered over the past several months are seriously pondering the questions asked above — searching for personal perspective and workable answers that apply to the present political situation.
The fact is, there are no easy answers. But there is one basic principle which is pivotal for all believers — before, during, and after the elections. God has called us to pray.
“First of All”
You may be aware that Derek Prince strongly believed Christians should pray for the government and for elected officials. On a regular basis, in teaching sessions all over the world (especially in the United States), Derek would challenge audiences with this question: “How many of you pray daily for your nation and its leaders?”
The scriptural basis Derek cited for his question is 1 Timothy 2:1–4: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority [a high position], so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity [seriousness]. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge [recognition] of the truth” (NASB). Clearly, prayer for leaders should be a top priority for us.
Frankly, I always found Derek’s question personally unsettling. Why? Because it forced me to admit I was neglecting this priority in my prayer life. Oh, I may have been talking a lot about politics — but it was mostly idle chatter, rather than the focused prayer Paul proposed.
Strangers and Exiles
Returning to the questions listed earlier, it’s not easy to know how to position ourselves in the current political environment. I don’t know about you, but I completely relate to the verses that describe us as “strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13). (Other versions translate this phrase, “foreigners and nomads here on earth,” and “strangers and exiles on the earth.”)
Jesus puts it this way in John 17:14: “I have given them [the disciples] Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
More often than not, this world seems like foreign territory, doesn’t it?
Truth in Tension
Even so, we hold this truth in tension. We may be aliens and strangers to the world around us — but God has called us to live here and serve Him effectively. We see this tension clearly expressed in 1 Peter 2:11–12, which starts out: “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” But then Peter adds on our obligation to live uprightly: “…having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
That’s a tough assignment: residing here as aliens, being slandered as such, but still maintaining a solid Christian testimony in the midst of an unbelieving world. Along with our obligation to lead exemplary lives, we also carry a mandate to pray for the people around us — especially those who govern us.
A Pertinent Update
What form should such intercession take? How exactly should we pray? Those are the questions I find myself often asking — especially regarding the present political atmosphere. That’s why I was so encouraged when a DPM staff member placed an excerpt from one of Derek’s personal updates on my desk as I was preparing this letter.
Part of Derek’s update is an eloquent prayer concerning an upcoming election at the time he sent out his report. Ironically, the update was recorded in October, 1980 — but the prayer Derek offered seems to apply even more directly to politics today.
It is usually my custom in the monthly Partner Letter to include an excerpt from Derek Prince’s teaching, and then formulate a prayer of my own as a suggested response to the topic of the letter. This time, however, the excerpt and the prayer are straight from Derek.
A Helpful Exhortation
In the section that follows, I will first quote Derek’s exhortation, which is the preface to the prayer he offered. After his initial words (which apply specifically to the United States, but could be implemented by believers in any nation), let’s simply join together in offering the pattern prayer which Derek suggested in his October, 1980 Update.
“In closing, let me just refer to the political situation in the United States with the forthcoming elections. Let me urge you to exercise your privilege and your Christian duty to pray and to vote.
Also, let me point out to you that, without any doubt, there are very evil spiritual forces released against everything that God stands for — the family, Christian morality, the liberty and right of parents to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of God. There are many evil forces which are tremendously active, tremendously vocal, tremendously well financed — many of them financed out of federal taxes.
I believe one of the prayers that will be most effective to pray at this time is this prayer out of Psalm 55:9, and I’m quoting the King James Version: “Destroy, O LORD, and divide their tongues….”
I am specifically praying that in these coming weeks, somehow the power of witchcraft over the political processes of the United States will be broken, bringing a release from that evil spiritual dominion which has become increasingly dominant in those processes for several years past.
So let me remind you again: remember to pray, ask God to show you how to pray, remember to cast your vote and don’t be afraid of the battle. “They that be with us are more than they that be with them.””
A Pattern Prayer
Now, let’s proclaim together Derek’s powerful prayer:
Almighty, God, our Heavenly Father, we come to You in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, redeemed by His blood, committed to serve and follow Him. We come to You as Your believing people, Your representatives in this earth, the agents of Your government in the earth.
We lift up to You this nation of ours, the United States. We thank You for the many centuries of special grace and mercy that You’ve granted to this nation. We thank You for the godly seeds that have been sown over the centuries by men of faith who have followed in Your footsteps, labored, sacrificed, prayed and given for Your kingdom. Lord, we do not desire that these godly seeds shall develop into a harvest that shall be reaped by the enemy. But we ask You to extend Your grace and mercy to this nation. We ask You to send a mighty visitation of the Holy Spirit that will overthrow the strongholds of Satan and uplift and glorify the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We ask You for a mighty floodtide of spiritual revival that will sweep across this nation, casting down everything that opposes itself against the knowledge of God. We commit to You now specifically the forthcoming elections, with all the political processes involved. We take our stand in Jesus’ name against every satanic principality and power that would seek to exercise control in these elections. We break their power, we release the elective and the governmental processes from their control, and we put them in Your hand. We pray that You will guide and overrule — that You will raise up the men and the women of Your choice, and that You will put down those who will oppose and stand against Your purposes. We ask You to bring Your purposes to fulfillment in this nation.
Lord, we do believe that You have a special destiny for the United States — and we pray that nothing that Satan will do will be able to hinder that destiny. We also pray for the relationship of the United States to Israel — that You will keep Your hand upon that relationship. Please guide and overrule so that this nation will not turn against Israel or take its stand amongst the enemies of Israel, but that You will graciously use this nation continually to support and uphold Your people, Israel, and their State.
Lord, we ask all these things, believing them to be Your will, believing them to be for Your glory, in the precious all-prevailing name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Savior. Amen.
What a remarkable prayer you and I have just offered! I think even Derek himself would have been amazed at how pertinent it is to our day and age. I plan to pray these exact words numerous times prior to the upcoming election — and then to continue praying in line with the 1 Timothy 2 passage cited earlier in this letter. We encourage you to do the same.
In that regard, we want to stand with you as you pray in the days ahead. One way we do that is by offering you Derek Prince’s solid biblical resources. Much of Derek’s teaching will help you know how to be in the world but not of it — praying and living effectively. As a beginning encouragement, we want to make Update #7 available to you by using the download link below. Even though it was recorded many years ago, it is so very pertinent to our modern day.
We also encourage you to discover more teaching resources while you are on our website. Many of Derek’s messages focus on our calling to pray — as well as this truth of being aliens and strangers, yet living out our faith in a way that impacts the lives of those around us.
Fulfilling Our Calling
One great advantage of our calling in prayer is the mutual encouragement of our fellow Christians. Certainly, much of our prayer time takes place on an individual basis — alone and in relative isolation. But what additional power is released when we pray together!
Thankfully, we are called as brothers and sisters in Christ for just a time as this. We hope you have been inspired and lifted by our efforts here at Derek Prince Ministries. You have certainly encouraged us through your prayers, your words of encouragement and your financial gifts — and we send you our heartfelt thanks. The truth is that we need one another. Together, we can fulfill the responsibilities the Lord has placed upon us in these days.
Now it is time for you and me to rally ourselves around God’s primary calling for our lives. Let’s encourage one another as we move forward to fulfill our calling to pray!
All the best,
P.S. We are so grateful to encourage you in these significant days. Thank you again for standing with us through your prayers and contributions. Please allow us to reciprocate by our offer of Derek’s Update #7. It offers a personal touch that is sure to inspire you.
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.