To say the least, the presidential election in the United States right now is contentious. Both sides are vying for votes and voices. As a United States citizen I know voting is a must and a privilege. As a Christian I know it’s important to lean on the understanding that God is the supreme power. I also think it’s important to pray for all involved in the upcoming election. Not just choosing a side that supports my ideals and political interests. Prayer and elections, to me, go hand-in-hand.
But why pray for both sides? This may seem counter-intuitive. It is! But only to our senses and prevalent human opinions. But it’s not wrong. It’s right, to love all involved. Jesus Christ pointed out that God sends rain upon the just and the unjust and that we are to love even our enemies. Many of Jesus’ teachings are counter-intuitive. That is why they are often so instructive, because his teachings counter, oppose, material sense — what seems physically “right.”
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Prayer and elections — praying for all
The question still begs an answer — why pray for both sides in an election? To me, the reason is because God’s direction and leading never goes only to one side — God’s intelligence is available to all. So I want both sides to hear God’s voice, one way or another. I want both sides to make good decisions, ultimately. Even my presidential choice, if they were to win, will make choices with which I disagree. However, I do trust that they can make choices that are their highest sense of right, are good, and guided by divine Principle, God’s wisdom, rather than being led by mere personal power or material sense.
This is not naivety or “Pollyanna” thinking. It’s leaning on God, and trusting, a higher intelligence that alone is capable of governing all, including the entire universe. Who could do that, but God?
So turning to prayer is an important part of our involvement in any political process — even when under tyranny. Prayer and elections, and praying for our enemy helps us realize more of God’s total presence under all circumstances. Understanding that God’s intelligence permeates the entire creation is a blessing to all — even our enemies. Any why would we want our enemies blessed? Because God, the perfect Mind, is capable of bringing everything into harmony with Himself — by destroying false notions and false concepts — and making adjustments — by removing all error. This is how healing happens.
When false human beliefs learn even a little of their own falsity, they begin to disappear. A knowledge of error and of its operations must precede that understanding of Truth which destroys error, until the entire mortal, material error finally disappears, and the eternal verity, man created by and of Spirit, is understood and recognized as the true likeness of his Maker.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.252:7
One Mind, one God — only one side
Ultimately, loving all, leads us to see there is only one side — God’s perfect and spiritual creation. That concept, that God’s creation is entirely perfect and spiritual, gives us a basis from which we can see why God’s love heals—it never harms or causes evil. This understanding is what Jesus essentially described when he said “…the Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21).”
However, when we believe that evil plays a part in God’s creation — in people, powers, and even politics — then we’re essentially believing that God itself — the perfect Mind — is both an evil and good power. This belief is the basis for all fear — and causes us to think that everything is both good and bad.
Yet, the more we learn and understand that God is only good, and so is all of God’s creation, we begin to realize we have no reason to fear — not of people, politics, disease, sin, not even death! This understanding frees us from hatred, ignorance, and resentment. By leaning on the God, divine Love, we can feel the freedom to vote for principle and goodness, and in a direction that makes us feel at ease. By understanding that it is God’s government who really governs all, and developing a greater trust in God’s power, we can see we have nothing to fear, not even wicked personalities.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;