Episode 563

Prayer Guide for Presidential Election, Haitian Gang Violence Hinder Southern Baptist Work & Helping Yourself So You Can Help Others

Mar 12, 2024

It may be months before American –believers vote in a general presidential election, but the need to pray for the candidates and the country can’t start too soon. As escalating gang violence and political instability threaten civil war in Haiti, Christian Haitian leaders who collaborate closely with ministers there are forced to postpone outreaches. And, pastors often struggle to admit or even realize they need help. In an article at Baptist Press, Mark Dance encourages pastors and all believers with some reminders as they focus on their mental health.

Transcript

It may be months before American –believers vote in a general presidential election, but the need to pray for the candidates and the country can’t start too soon.

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has released a prayer guide for this year’s presidential election.

A portion of the guide calls on believers to pray:

* Pray that God will protect the candidates running for office, keeping them safe and healthy as they travel and campaign around the country.

* Pray that God will protect the candidates’ families.

* Pray that candidates will desire to exhibit high character, speak truthfully, and conduct themselves with honor.

* Pray that the most competent, highest character candidates will win their respective races.

As escalating gang violence and political instability threaten civil war in Haiti, Christian Haitian leaders who collaborate closely with ministers there are forced to postpone outreaches.

About a quarter of Haiti’s estimated 11.5 million people live in the Port au Prince metropolitan area, according to 2023 CIA World Fact Book numbers.

Keny Felix, president of the National Haitian Fellowship, said the country is essentially cut in two because so much of the commerce is centralized in Port au Prince.

Violence escalated Feb. 29 when gangs attacked Port au Prince, storming police stations and killing at least four officers. Police have declared a state of emergency and enacted curfews in unsuccessful attempts to curb the violence.

Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.


Pastors often struggle to admit or even realize they need help. In an article at Baptist Press, Mark Dance encourages pastors and all believers with some reminders as they focus on their mental health.

First, he says don’t self-diagnose. Go talk to a doctor or someone trained in counseling.

Second, let others pastor you.

Understandably, the perceived stigma of depression makes it harder for ministers or their family members to seek ongoing help within the community we serve. Just don’t let the stigma become an excuse to ignore your mental wellness.

Third, trust the Lord for healing. Overcoming depression or anxiety is a process. Lean in to the process and trust the Lord.

Finally, take what you learn and use it to help others.

Dance points to biblical references of how believers are to use their own suffering to be a help to others.

 

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