4 Prayers for Your Heart This Election Year

It’s here. Again. How can four years go by so quickly? Didn’t we just live through a contentious, rancorous, raucous presidential election cycle? Of course, we’ve been hearing about poll numbers for the 2024 election for about a year, but now that the calendar has turned to January, we must brace ourselves for the roller coaster of the next ten months. 

I’m sure for some, election years bring great excitement and anticipation. Others find the primary campaigns, debates, and 24/7 news coverage exhausting and frustrating. But whether we’re interested in politics or not, this year—with all of its candidates and craziness—will bring with it a raft of temptations. As I consider the year ahead, I recognize the need to guard my heart against the enemy’s attacks. Will you join with me in preparing your heart for whatever might happen in the months leading up to November 5

1. “Lord, grant me love for those with whom I disagree.” 

Religion and politics—the two most polarizing topics in all of human society. This year we’re sure to interact with people from “the other side.” Their viewpoints on their favorite candidates will rub us the wrong way, get under our skin, put a rock in our shoe, and probably a dozen other clichés. We’ll bug our eyes in befuddlement at how they could so blindly follow a particular person or agenda. We’ll be tempted to argue our side and tally points to prove ourselves the winner. But will we love those who will check an entirely different set of boxes in November? 


I believe that I am right and that the candidate I support is the best person for the job. I confess that I often am tempted to think less of those who disagree with me. I want to cut them down, insult their intelligence, and denigrate their way of thinking. But that’s not love. You sent Your Son to die while I was still your enemy, raging against You at every turn. Yet you pursued me in love. May I do the same for my friends, family, and neighbors on the other side of the aisle. Help me demonstrate kindness, humility, patience, and gentleness with them. Give me ears to hear their opinion, and grace to lovingly respond with my own views. Help me to remember that a person's eternal destination is not decided by what box they check on election day but by what they do with Your Son. May His love pour out of me this election year, regardless of the outcome of any vote. Give me love as steadfast and faithful as Yours. 

2. “Lord, keep my eyes on the one true King.” 

The gift of a vote, having a voice in who rules over us, whether municipal, state, or national, is a gift whose worth can hardly be overstated. Our vote really does mean something (whether it feels like it or not). Because of this, we’re tempted to throw ourselves into unswerving support for the candidate of our choice, the person we think will fill the office perfectly. The temptation, though, is to forget that no matter who ultimately gets elected, we will always serve the same King.

Great God and Ruler of All, 

Kingdoms will rise and fall, but You always remain on the throne. Whether Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Britain, Russia, Nazi Germany, or some other world superpower has tried to take the spotlight, You have never once ceded an inch of Your power. Keep this truth in the front of my mind this year as poll numbers ebb and flow, primary elections come and go, and the general election determines the future of our country. May the allegiance of my heart only ever be given to You. While I support earthly candidates, who I think would do a fine job in the offices they seek, fix my eyes upon the true King. Your rule will not be up for a vote in November. Your sovereignty never seeks reelection. And You never worry about approval ratings in the polls. You are God. You are King. You are in control. Cement these truths in my mind and settle them deep in my heart that they may quiet the fears that creep in. 

3. “Lord, You are my only hope.” 

Campaign promises will flow freely over the next several months as candidates unpack their plans for the betterment of the nation, all but guaranteeing immediate and lasting change if voters will only give them a chance. These promises can lead our hearts astray, causing us to think that as long as the “right” person holds the office, we’ll finally be okay. We’re tempted to turn off the hazard lights and breathe easily once again. However, if the other person wins the vote, we hit the panic button and start calling for midnight prayer vigils because we’re surely doomed. These extreme reactions reveal a covert idol of our hearts: the idol of misplaced hope. 

God of hope, 

Forgive me for finding relief and hope in an election. My fickle heart loves to search for comfort in a person—a candidate or a political leader. I believe so fully and readily in their plans and promises that I forget that my onlyhope in life and death is Your Son. His righteous life, vicarious sacrifice, and bodily resurrection guarantee my future, not the outcome of a vote. Keep me from believing the enemy’s lie that everything will surely be okay if my favorite figure is elected. And prevent me from falling into despair if that person fails to get the vote in November. My hope is anchored in the Savior, not in a candidate for public office. I’m grateful for the privilege to vote for our earthly leaders, but may I never equate that privilege with true hope. My brothers and sisters across the globe and throughout the ages who have never had nor dreamed of such a privilege have surely possessed no less hope than I. In Christ alone my hope is found. May He be my light, strength, and song before, during, and after any election. 

4. “Lord, give me wisdom.” 

Scripture tells us that wisdom is more than merely good decision-making. Wisdom is about who we are as much as what we know and what we think. Jesus, the gentle, humble, kind, compassionate, merciful Friend of Sinners, is wisdom personified. If ever we need wisdom, it’s during an election year when foolishness, anger, pettiness, and vitriol permeate the air. As followers of Christ, we’re called to respond not with the bitter jealousy and selfish deceit of the world’s wisdom but with the wisdom from above (James 3:13–18). 

All-wise Father, 

I need wisdom. Help me to navigate the minefield of this election year with responses that reflect my relationship with Christ. May my reactions be first pure: free from the filth of selfishness, self-righteousness, anger, jealousy, and fear. And may I respond peaceably, always striving as much as it is within my power to live at peace with all people, whether we agree on politics or not. Make me a peacemaker and ambassador for reconciliation. Give me gentle responses and keep me from unleashing all of my anger, frustration, and anxiety. May I respond with meekness this year when I’m pressed, just as Your Son did as He forgave his executioners. Please give me a heart of mercy and compassion for the lost, for those with whom I disagree, and for those who openly defy Your Word. Give me wisdom, Father. And give it liberally. I need it. 

As Cindy said, the best way to cope with a contentious election season is to keep our eyes focused on our one true King, Jesus . . . the incomparable Christ. He’s at the center of Nancy’s newest book, Incomparable: 50 Days with Jesus, which releases tomorrow! Today at 3 p.m. (EST) Nancy will be on Chris Fabry Live to share what she hopes this special new book will do for you. Tune in live, or find it wherever you get your podcasts. 

About the Author

Cindy Matson

Cindy Matson

Cindy Matson lives in a small Minnesota town with her husband, son and daughter, and ridiculous black dog. She enjoys reading books, drinking coffee, and coaching basketball. You can read more of her musings about God's Word at biblestudynerd.com.

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