Have you ever been discouraged or asked yourself, “Why should I pray? What difference does it make?” Or has someone shared how they were praying for you and in that moment, you knew someone was believing with you?
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…” Proverbs 31:8
I am the new Government Affairs & Policy Director at Christian Care Ministry. The government process has been a passion of mine since high school. Just call me your local government gal.
I honor Ms. Terry Richardson for igniting my passion for government. She would have us watch C-Span, the U.S. government run channel, listening to people call in and share their thoughts on how they felt their government was operating. At times I would agree with what was being said, while at other times I was shocked by the topic of discussion.
At the end of the television program Ms. Richardson would say, “These callers have the ears of our legislators and if you aren’t involved they will speak for you.” I didn’t want anyone to speak on my behalf! I was a child who could talk before I could walk, written up in school for excessive talking, and, much to my mom’s disapproval, I never met a stranger I couldn’t talk to.
I felt God impress upon my heart that the government process is where I needed to be. I didn’t know how but I trusted God had a way. My mentors from church began to encourage and pray for me and continue to do so to this day. God opened a door for an internship program that sent me to Florida’s Capital where I worked during the 2009 Legislative Session. Through that program I had the opportunity to see firsthand what our elected officials face each day serving their communities and working on legislative issues that impact millions of people in their state. I found where I belonged!
For more than 12 years I had a beautiful career there that grew and challenged me. Starting as an intern in the Florida House of Representatives to becoming the Chief Legislative Aide for two State Senators, I served alongside elected officials who taught me about the importance of speaking up for those who couldn’t speak for themselves.
However, at times being away from family, friends, and your church home can cause a weariness and discouragement for elected officials and staff alike. We would have more than 800 people visit us in a four-month time span. The legislators would also attend all-day, back-to-back legislative hearings and then travel back to their local communities to continue to serve.
Their heart for service also comes with great sacrifice that many don’t see and the burden they carry is significant. I am now on the other side of the government process and belong to a ministry whose heart is consistently leading from a posture of prayer.
What does the Bible say about praying for our governmental leaders?
I am thankful for those I knew and didn’t know who were praying for me. I felt days shift from heavy to light and peace pave the way through the trials. Prayer matters and it’s important to intentionally designate time to put someone else’s needs above our own. It honors God and shifts something inside of us. During this current season, our elected officials are facing difficult and divided issues where many voices are vying for their attention.
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Why is prayer so powerful?
Prayer is talking to God which sounds simple, but when we remember that God is sovereign over all of creation, all-powerful, all-knowing, and outside of time and space... it is more than worth our time to bring our concerns, requests, thanks, praise and worship to Him. He alone deserves the honor and glory!
Throughout Scripture, we are encouraged to pray and bring our concern and requests to God, In Hebrews 4:16, it says, "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
And in Philippians 4:6, Paul instructs us to stop worrying but instead, "by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present [our] requests to God."
Prayer is powerful not because of who is praying, but because of WHO we pray to.
With that in mind, I am excited to share a new opportunity that will bring encouragement and hope to our elected officials. Project K.E.E.P. (Keeping Elected Officials Encouraged through Prayer) launched this month. Medi-Share has a prayer calendar providing the names of elected officials we will be praying for each day. Then, as the Government Affairs team, we will reach out to those offices directly to let them know our members are praying for them and offer devotionals or bibles should they request them.
We ask you to join us in praying for our elected officials. Please visit Project K.E.E.P. for more information. As a former legislative staffer, I thank you for adding a few more names to your prayer time. Your prayers make a difference in the lives of our elected officials and their staff.
“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are already doing”
1 Thessalonians 5:11