But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. —Jeremiah 29:7
Don’t we all wish someone would run with this campaign slogan, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Our welfare . . .
The absence of evil . . .
A bright future filled with hope . . .
Now, that’s a platform I can get behind! And yet, if we look at the context of these verses, we see they were spoken in an era of political unrest. God’s people had been taken captive under an oppressive and wicked leader. Their freedoms had been fully stripped. They were forced to live in a new and foreign city. It was to exiles that God gave those beautiful promises after giving these instructions, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (v. 7).
As the election nears, we need to be reminded that this is not our city. As Christ-followers, we can only ever be exiles and foreigners in this land. Our ultimate hope is in the New Jerusalem, whose builder and architect is God (Heb. 11:10).
While our spiritual welfare is secure, our human welfare is not guaranteed. Our mission is the same as that of the Babylonian exiles: we must pray for our cities, our nation, our world.
As you pray, keep this perspective: God has promised us a future hope that can never be shaken, not by one election or one thousand. Our future with Him is secure. But God is attentive to the needs of His children, even as we live in exile in this place that is not our home. In this, and every election cycle, let’s cry out to Him for our welfare.
How to Pray
Lord, bring health and healing to our nation. Lead us to security. Restore our spiritual fortunes and rebuild us on the solid rock of your truth. Cleanse us from all the guilt of our sin against you and forgive our rebellion. Make America a nation of joy, praise, and glory before all nations of the earth who hear about the good you have done for us. Amen. (Adapted from Jeremiah 33:6–9.)
What to Pray
- Pray for God to put leaders in place who follow Him and obey His Word.
- Pray for God to use this election as a catalyst for widespread revival among government leaders and American citizens.
- Pray for America to become a Christian nation and for our citizens to be united by our faith in Jesus and commitment to His Word.