Words are a very powerful force in the world. Words have the power to give hope, speak life, and express love; however, words equally have the power to hurt, destroy lives, and express hate. In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, Paul refers to the latter use of words as “godless chatter.” In his previous letter to Timothy, Paul revealed the make up of people who engage in this “godless chatter.” Paul says, “they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” Paul was a very wise man because I feel like he just described the majority of the Facebook posts over the last year.
When I read these words I cannot help but think of this election that is quickly approaching. This election has become one of the ugliest in our nation’s history. The candidates running for offices have been bombarded with ridicule, hate, malicious attacks, and faced with continuous suspicion due to their opposing candidates and the supporters of those opposing candidates.
I personally do not care for political games or how election campaigns are run, but I cannot control those things. However, what you and I can control are the words that we speak. So in my biased opinion here are a few words our election candidates need.
Lord, Jesus Christ, I will not begin to say I know what candidates are going through in their personal lives and I cannot say that I understand the stresses and pressures they will face if elected into office. But we do not need to understand to be able to humble ourselves and put our personal opinions aside. Despite the differences we may all have. Despite our own personal thoughts and opinions about a what candidate should or should not do I pray that we would all agree that speaking words of hate, speaking words to malicious attack, speaking words to draw suspicion upon another are of no benefit to anyone. Help us to speak words that lift people up and not tear them down.
In this moment we life to you, God, the lives of each person running for a government office or school board. We pray that You will speak life into each one of them that they would know that You love them. We pray that You for their health as they put in the many hours of preparation, speaking engagements, and the stresses and pressures that come with these things.
Candidates have spent large amounts of time away from family to pursue their office, so lift up their families to You. We pray that relationships would grow stronger and not be weakened. Block their ears from the words that do anything but speak truth, care and concern for their love one running for office. We pray that through this election process You would bring families closer together.
We pray that each candidate will be open to You. That they would allow You to speak into their lives to be used by You and for You. We pray that You would grant each candidate the wisdom they need to lead with integrity and honor. Grant them the strength and courage to stand behind what You guide them to despite the opposition they may face.
We thank You for each candidate, because despite what we may feel about their political stance each one are created in the image of God.
May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.