I was deeply troubled a few years back when attending a meeting of Christians called to pray for our city (Pensacola, FL). One pastor who was asked to pray for our political leaders offered a prayer that was more of a Republican agenda of things he hoped God would accomplish through our government. I was profoundly troubled by that prayer, especially in an interdenominational setting, but I would be concerned anywhere.
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from Sojourners, and it led me to this page calling for fasting and prayer regarding a moral budget.
Now let me be clear here. I do see my vote as a moral issue, i.e., I should advocate for things I regard as morally right. I should pray about the way I act in the public square. Further, I have no problem with praying for those in government.
What I have a problem with is combining prayer and my political advocacy. There are things I believe should be done about our budget. These result from my best understanding of how one should implement good government. I have prayed about them and will continue to do so. But I don’t ask God in prayer to do things my way, and I try never to use my prayer life or my fasting as a way to influence others in their decision making.
To a certain extent I see this as running afoul of the early verses of Matthew 6. But being well aware of the Sermon on the Mount, I must also ask if I’m being too critical.
What do you think?