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Prayer for leadership

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

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As the election of the US president approaches, polls show that many Americans say they want change and fresh ideas. Whatever opinion one may hold about what is most important, most of us would say that effective leadership is essential. Is it possible to pray for good leadership? Yes, but it means putting aside opinions about issues and candidates long enough to gain a spiritual sense of leadership that goes beyond personal style.

The Bible promises that God will lead each of us. The book of Isaiah says, "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young" (40:11). This passage indicates that God is gently caring for all the needs of His children – all of humanity. Prayer for new and sometimes unformed hopes and ideas, and their fulfillment through just and stable leadership, means knowing that God is caring for those ideas.

God's guidance is indispensable for making thoughtful decisions about candidates and issues. Praying for guidance involves holding in thought a concept of leadership that includes the God-given sense of honesty, impartiality, and vision, and living these qualities to the best of our ability. Living these qualities uplifts motives and can correct mistaken social, gender, and racial attitudes that might be held by voters and candidates.

The Bible has examples of good leadership. Moses wasn't elected but was chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. If Moses had run for office, he probably wouldn't have been elected; public speaking wasn't his strong suit. Besides, he didn't want the job. But he was the right one for it. The Bible says, "The man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth" (Num. 12:3).


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