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Summary: As with everything else in life, prayer is the key to influencing secular culture and human government. Solomon's call to prayer serves as a pattern for discovering the power of prayer.

Every four years, this nation elects a political leader we call the President of the United States. This year’s election is fifty days away and there is both anticipation and anxiety as that day approaches. We go to the polls seeking to change the direction of the nation, or to stay the course because the circumstances of the nation are such that the majority is pleased with the direction the leadership has set. This year, we will not “stay the course” necessarily, for we elect a new president. Some people believe electing one particular candidate will, in essence, be staying the course, though that candidate has done much to draw distinctions between herself and her predecessor. Others believe electing another of the primary candidates will lead the nation in a new, more prosperous direction. And, so it goes…

It’s interesting to me to watch the reaction of people as this election cycle has progressed. I’m a bit of a political junkie myself. I don’t try to hide that fact. I don’t (well, not often anyways) make my political views known. You won’t see me posting political articles on social media, promoting particular candidates or particular parties. We’re all in this together and part of our problem is not being able, or willing, to put aside our differences in order to overcome the divisiveness our system finds itself in. This election cycle is an historic time for our nation. As in the election cycle of 2008 when we elected our nation’s first African-American president, we may this cycle, elect our nation’s first female president. Some say, “It’s been a long time coming,” while others say, “This is not the woman we need to elect.” And, so it goes…

The anxiety of the moment is heightened by the cultural circumstances we are experiencing as a nation. Consider these circumstances—a stock market, that while reaching new heights, its volatility is shown by the constant swings from one day to the next, a world economy that still languishes mostly in recession, job market volatility (CenturyLink announced this week layoffs that could impact as many as 3,500 employees nationwide), and when we factor in the shifts in cultural values over the past eight years, there’s no wonder anxiety is up. My generation is concerned whether Social Security will be around for our retirement. Healthcare costs, in spite of an overhaul of the system, continue to rise. We have 19.5 trillion dollars of debt as of this past Friday morning. We continue to fight a war on terror with an enemy that is hard to identify and even harder to trace, and we face aggressive nations having the capabilities of nuclear weapons. Do we believe a new president will change any of these circumstances? Perhaps that’s not the appropriate question. Perhaps the appropriate question is “Whom or what do we trust?” Is our trust in a political party? Is our trust in a candidate for president or the government? I am reminded of the words of King David (that’s right KING David) writing in Psalm 20:7—


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