In my time alone with God yesterday I read a familiar passage (John 18) where Jesus is being questioned by Pilate before He is crucified. In their exchange, (John 18:38) Pilate asks: “What is truth?” Scholars have written for years about whether Pilate was indifferent, irritiated at Jesus, or really interested in knowing more about the truth. Regardless, he immediately turned from the one who is “the truth” (John 14:6) and went out to address the Jews who wanted Jesus crucified.
However, it was the verse just prior to Pilate’s question that really caught my attention. I’ve read it many many times, but on this morning it seemed to jump off the page at me. In John 18:37, Jesus said: “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Another translation puts it this way: “All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” One more translation: “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
It is my prayer that the next leader of our nation will “be on the side of truth” – “love the truth” – “be of the truth” and prove that by hearing, recognizing and following the truth that comes from the One Who is Truth. For this to happen, you and I have a responsiblity to do the same thing, and to pray consistently for our next President and all the leaders of our nation. Maybe a few of the things we ought to pray about are found in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. God blesses those who realize their need for him – so pray that all our leaders realize their need for him. God blesses those who are humble in spirit – so pray that all our leaders realize their need for true humility. God blesses those who desire true justice and righteousness – so pray that our leaders will hunger and thirst for these things. God blesses those whose hearts are pure – so pray that our leaders will repent of sin and lead with pure hearts. God blesses those who are mocked and persecuted and lied about because they are Christ’s followers – pray for our leaders who truly follow Christ to experience God’s blessing in the midst of the persecution they will face.
Not only should we be praying these things for our leaders, we should be living them ourselves. This is not “pie in the sky” but an absolute promise from God; “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14