FIRST-PERSON: Politicians & prayer

INDIANAPOLIS (BP) -- Maybe you're not called by God to be a politician. But you are called by God to pray for those who are.

In our day, politicians and sometimes first responders bear the brunt of uncharitable comments, but the vast majority of these people are in their roles because they genuinely want to serve the public.

As Christians, we are called to pray for our leaders, even if we don't agree with them. As the apostle Paul exhorted: "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

Here are some simple ways you can be an encouragement to those in leadership.

-- Learn who your city, state and national leaders are. Make a list of their names and jobs so you can pray specifically for them.

-- Meet your mayor or city council members in person and tell them, "Thank you for your service -- I'm praying for you." Purchase a Bible to give them as a gift and write in the front a verse you are praying for them.

-- Sign up at www.thepsp.org to receive regular emails (either daily or weekly) encouraging you to pray for politicians. Select your state to receive a little info about several of your elected leaders, their photo and email address. Pray for them and then send them an email letting them know you are praying. It doesn't need to be long or eloquent, just simply saying, "I'm praying for you today."

-- Attend your city council meetings as regularly as possible. Most of the time they involve an hour a month. Make sure you introduce yourself before or after the meeting. Remember: Your goal is to simply thank them for their service and assure them of your prayers.

-- Meet your senator and member of Congress. Stop by their office or call to set up an appointment. Let them know you are praying for them as they lead in your state.

-- Become a commissioned chaplain. Chaplains serve in all types of areas: your statehouse, your local police or fire department, jails, military bases and hospitals.

-- Have your kids draw pictures or write thank you notes to deliver to local leaders (politicians, first responders, etc).

The most important thing you can do is be consistently present. As you consistently encourage your politicians, God can open doors for you to be a support for them in ways you never knew possible.

Autumn Wall, online at www.autumnwall.com, is an author, speaker, worship leader, pastor's wife and mom of three in Indianapolis. She is the coauthor of "Across the Street and Around the World" (New Hope Publishers).
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