Donald Trump has been found guilty of fraud, leaving American Christians potentially more divided than ever. In the middle of crises, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, says the founder of 24-7 Prayer. Here’s why we should press in when the going gets tough - and how to do it


Source: Reuters

Everyone is going to have an opinion on Donald Trump, but my opinion is this: America woke up this morning even more divided than it did yesterday.

And wherever we are in the world, Christians should care about that. But rather than jumping on the political bandwagon – because, by the way, very few people in this country have a vote in that election – Christians in the UK should be praying for America at this time.

Why we should pray

1 Timothy 2:2 tells us to pray “for all those in authority” so that it may go well with us. In Genesis 18, Abraham interceded - I mean, he actually negotiated with God for the city of Sodom. He was, as it were, haggling God down, saying: “If it’s just 30 righteous people will you spare the city…if it’s just 15 righteous people, please don’t destroy the city.”

So it troubles me when I see some Christians looking at the state of the world, tutting, huffing and saying: “Oh well, let them all go to hell. Thank goodness, we know Jesus!” That is clearly wrong.

Rather than jumping on the political bandwagon, Christians should be praying

Our hearts must break at the state of the world, in every way. Marriages breaking down; families breaking down; human trafficking; ecological disaster. We must cry out to God. We must be those who pray. And we must allow this to affect us.

How to pray

There’s a risk of compassion fatigue and passion fatigue. We can feel overwhelmed, like a bunny rabbit in the headlights. And so the first thing is to make it personal, rather than just praying for vast problems out there. 

Every one of us knows someone who’s suffering. We know someone whose marriage is on the rocks. We know someone whose business is in trouble. If it’s personal, we’ll be moved, and we will care.

The second thing is: pick one or two issues and get passionate about those. I’m passionate about single use plastics. I can’t do everything about all ecological disaster, but I can at least try to only buy recyclable plastics - or not to buy plastics at all because I don’t like the fact that it’s just littering the ocean and never goes away.

The best advice I ever got on prayer was: keep it simple, keep it real, keep it up

So pick an issue on a global scale and really focus in. That’s what William Wilberforce did with slavery. And it was outworked by lots of people saying: “I will no longer take sugar in my tea because the sugar is grown on slave plantations.” So that vast issue got boiled down to how you drink a cup of tea.

Praying politically

You don’t need to be impartial when you pray - I find God doesn’t take my opinions nearly as seriously as I do, and I don’t think a little partiality in my prayers is going to sway the Almighty in all his wisdom. But I do think it is important to be honest in prayer.The best advice I ever got was: keep it simple, keep it real, keep it up. We need to be real with God, and that’s not just about politics.

Finally, when we pray publicly - particularly if you are active on social media, preach or hold a microphone - I do not believe that we should be telling people how to vote. I will teach my church principles. I would encourage them to vote for people of integrity - of whatever political party - but I won’t tell them who to vote for, because I think God has things he agrees and disagrees with on every side of every political divide.

Listen to Pete Greig’s full interview with Michael Fanstone on Premier Christian Radio