Praying for the Election Today

This morning, about 30 folks from my church came together to pray for our nation, the election, the candidates, and our church. What a refreshing and powerful way to start the morning!

As you go about this day, I pray that the Spirit of Jesus would remind you all that our hope can never be in an official or even good laws. Rather, we look to the one man, Jesus, who is a mediator between God and men. Only his power changes a heart, and only changed hearts change a nation.

Throughout the day, I will be posting the Prayer Points we prayed through this morning. These were written by Al Mohler. I found them to be quite insightful. Here’s the first two.

1. Pray that God will bless America with leaders better than we deserve. Truth be told, all we can expect from democracy is the government we deserve. We must pray for a government and for leaders better than we deserve. May God grant us mercy as he reigns and rules over all things, including this election.

2. Pray that Americans will be motivated to fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship, yet also that we will be stripped of an unhealthy and idolatrous confidence in the power of government to save us. God has given us the gift of rulers and governments in order to restrain evil, uphold righteousness, and provide for civil order. No human ruler can save. No government official or office holder can heal the human heart, solve the sin problem, or accomplish final justice. These powers belong to God and God alone.

Leadership Summit Session with William Ury


William Ury – Negotiating conflict

Goal is not to get rid of conflict, but rather creative conflict.
We are the biggest barrier to resolving conflict. We have a tendency to react. When angry, we will make the best speech we will regret. 
Cf. Joyce Hugget, “Creative Conflict” maybe the best book on self-examining, Gospel-centered, creative/constructive conflict 
Most significant skills to being a good negotiator
1. See the people and the problem differently. Be hard on the problem, but soft on the people. Be a listener. Empathize. Negotiating is an exercise in influence. How can you change someone’s mind if you don’t know where they are? Give respect.
2. Be creative. What are the interests?
3. Be fair. Based on objectivity.
People: Separate the people from the problem.

Interests: Focus on interests, not positions. Why is it that you want your position? as you understand interests, you can come up with potent solutions. Eg: two people who want an orange. One wants it for the peel, the other for the fruit (interest) vs. both want the fruit (position).

Options: Invent multiple options looking for mutual gains before deciding what to do. Be creative in finding solutions that can meet the interests of both parties.

Criteria: Insist that the result be based on some objective standard. Standards that are independent of each other’s will, based on fairness.

BATNA – best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Contingency if you can’t reach an agreement. Having an alternative gives more negotiating confidence and discernment. It also gives you a metric to see if your final agreement is better or worse than the alternative you’ve thought about.
Bottom line says that if you don’t get it, I am going to walk. It is the ultimatum stance and may not be helpful as it distracts you from your interests by only emphasizing positions.