This is Winnipeg at night. Photo was taken from orbit by Cdr Chris Hadfield.
Today is Election Day in our city. New trustees, new counsellors, and a new mayor – we will have all these by the end of the day. I won’t endorse a particular candidate but let everyone be encouraged to vote. But even voting is not demanded of us by explicit command in Scripture. But there is one thing that is: Prayer.
Prayer for our leaders and prayer for our city. Praying for secular leaders is very clearly commanded in the Bible:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 1 Tim 2:1-2 ESV
We don’t know who our leaders will be by the end of the day. But God is in control and we need to pray for Him to give them guidance and wisdom. They are, in a sense, our ministers for the common good. It’s a tough job surely and they need our prayers.
Also we need to pray for our city:
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 ESV
This command isn’t directly given to Christian people in Winnipeg. Context shouldn’t be ignored. But it is parallel enough to our situation that we ought to receive encouragement to do likewise. Jeremiah wrote this to exiled Israel in Babylon, who were tempted to ignore, retreat from, resent, or otherwise not participate with the culture/city around them. They are instead encouraged to become involved and pray. Pray for the good of everyone.
On Election Day this comes even more sharply into focus. So vote wisely and from an informed place. And most importantly pray. Pray for God to place the right leaders into office. Pray that they may be given wisdom. Pray for the flourishing and prosperity of Winnipeg to grow and grow. Pray for peace for everyone and the tearing down of divisions between us. Pray especially for the most vulnerable communities and individuals among us. Pray that God’s people would continue to serve and be a blessing to our communities. Pray that we could participate in public life for the good of all. Pray for God’s abundant blessing on all our neighbours.