Why Pray for the Government?
On IFA’s Pray With America’s Leaders webcast, government-relations consultant Terri Hasdorff shared her heart on the importance of praying for the government. Terri has served in the White House, the House of Representatives, and various government agencies. As a resident of Alabama, she ran for Congress in 2020 and operated a super PAC after that. Terri understands the breadth and width of what it takes to be in public office, and on the webcast she explained why it’s crucial to pray for those who hold or will be running for office.
If you have been on the fence about praying for our government on any level, I pray that you will prayerfully reconsider.
Generally, when people think of governmental officials, there tends to be a perception that “it’s all corrupt.” And while political corruption certainly does exist, many Christians — intercessors included — are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Fear, anger, and mistrust often outweigh our desire for prayer.
Terri disclosed that while she was in public service, prayer affected her life greatly: “Every decision was made after a time of fasting and praying. God has guided and directed me every step of the way. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
Speaking with host Kris Kubal, IFA’s chief program officer, about these outcomes of prayer, Terri said: “I have seen prayer be a significant force in Washington. I have personally seen prayer impact legislation. There were things that looked impossible, and they came through and succeeded. I’ve seen things stop that needed to be stopped. I have seen the way prayer has been the foundation for our country. I believe that God pays attention to government leaders, especially those in government who pray.”
Asked to share any surprising things about prayer and politics, Terri lit up. She said that many Christians would be surprised to learn just how much prayer occurs in Congress: “The biggest surprise is how many Christians there are in Washington, D.C. There are weekly Bible studies happening in the Capitol building and in the House and Senate and offices all over Washington. People need to realize there are good and honest people serving in government. It’s not at all like the media portrays it. It’s actually amazing. Those people need more support and reinforcements. That’s where groups like IFA come in and not only get behind them, but give opportunities in different ways to get involved.”
Terri was asked to relate faith-building stories about events she has witnessed in which there was no shadow of doubt that God had worked, and which reveal that He truly does care about government. She replied: “Our country was founded by men who believed in biblical principles until this day. We have withstood so much evil and have been able to survive; I have personally seen members of Congress get down on their hands and knees in prayer in times of crisis. This is one of the things people do not see behind the scenes, but it does happen.”
Here’s how we can pray into what is currently going on in our government, according to Terri: “We must pray for justice to be restored where it has been broken. Justice is a critical part of our democracy. It’s the only foundation on which a society of free and independent people can exist.”
And the Scriptures do attest to that: Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you (Psalm 89:14).
“We can also pray for hidden things to be revealed. Not just for things to come out, but that they might be dealt with. Pray that righteousness would prevail in our justice system,” Terri said.
Again, Scripture bears that out: For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all (Luke 8:17 NLT).
“As Christians, we are called to walk in faith and not fear. There is hope. With proper training, we can do amazing things in politics,” said Terri.
Here are some practical things we can do that can have a great impact — beginning with the most important one first:
“Pray for the right people and candidates to get involved. Pray God to show them clearly, and that the candidates would hear Him for themselves. If there are no good candidates, maybe you need to pray and consider if God is calling you to run. Maybe you know someone who would make a great candidate. Go and recruit them.”
If we are concerned about the integrity of our coming elections, now is a great time to think about ways we can make a difference. We can’t wait until the last minute and then get upset when things go wrong.
Terri recommended getting to know the election officials in your county. You can also find out what it takes to be a poll worker or poll watcher. Know when the events are coming in summer and into the fall. Sign up and find friends who are willing to help.
Get and Stay Informed
Do your homework. Get to know the candidates personally, or ask around. Go to their websites, or attend a town hall meeting or campaign rally. Find out where they stand on important issues. “Don’t wait until right before the election. Treat it like a job interview. These people will be making decisions that impact your life in many ways,” Terri said.
Consider Local Elections to Be as Important as State Elections
It’s not just the “big” elections that require our prayers and attention. We must be equally informed about and get involved on the local levels as well.
“These people will make decisions that directly impact where you live. This is your backyard — the schools in your area and community are affected by local elections. Many state leaders are now speaking into issues like abortion and other critical issues that we used to let the federal figure out.”
And maybe the “small” isn’t really so small. According to Terri: “There are 3,000 counties in the United States. There’s a spectrum of people in these offices who need our prayers. Maybe you can’t make a difference on a larger scale, but you can make a difference in your own county. Get to know who your county officials are, because they will often go on to run for higher office, like a state official. Sometimes what happens in a county can have a larger-scale effect. It’s critical we get involved on every level.”
Our Call to Action
Terri concluded with an urgent exhortation to all Christians. “This is your call to action. Now is the time! We are in a place in our nation where you are needed. Sixty-seven percent of Americans are Christians. If that voting block rises up, I know it could make a difference, and our voices would be heard. Right now, 41% of Christians aren’t even registered to vote at all. What happens this November will be indicative of the next year, when we are in full election mode. Take advantage and learn what you can do now; it will serve you well.”
Following her extensive time in public service, Terri was led to write a book titled Running Into the Fire: Why More Christians Need to Be Involved in Politics. She wrote this book specifically for people who do not understand the process, the behind-the-scenes work that goes into elections, or the needs of candidates who run for office. It is a hands-on guide for anyone who wants to participate but has no idea where to begin. If you want to take that first step to learn more, visit www.GodOverGovernment.com. There you can sign up for emails, purchase the book, or find podcasts. The site offers a wealth of resources we can benefit from.
Now let’s pray together:
Thank You, Lord, for godly men and women in office who have Your heart for our nation. Please raise up even more such men and women as godly candidates. Let those who know they are called and have that desire come forward now with Your backing. We pray that all believers will exercise their civic duty to vote. Give every one of us the desire to see just, righteous, and holy changes in this land, especially in our own counties, where every facet of our daily lives will be affected. Lord, give us Your heart for government. Open our eyes to see the good in government too, and not to maximize the bad that we see. If this matters to You, Lord, then let it matter to us too. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
If this article inspires you with fresh passion to pray for government, share below!
IFA contributing writer Gloria Robles is a passionate intercessor with a prophetic voice for today. For more from Gloria, go to Spotify or Anchor and listen to her podcast, Something To Share. Photo Credit: Michele Orallo on Unsplash.
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