America stands at a serious crossroads. When we choose a president on November 2, it is important that we not be swayed by personal preferences, media pressure or party loyalty. Christians must cast their votes based on godly principles--and on what the Holy Spirit is saying to His church.
Some Christians don't consider voting a spiritual activity. They think God doesn't favor one man over another. Others take a fatalistic approach, saying, "Both candidates are evil, so it doesn't matter." And some don't even vote--as if God doesn't care who occupies the White House.
But I believe God gives His people the supernatural wisdom we need to direct our nation into His purposes. The Bible tells us that He gave the sons of Issachar a special anointing for spiritual governance: "And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do" (1 Chron. 12:32, KJV).
This Issachar anointing is being released today so we can know God's purposes for the United States. Those who expect God to speak and are willing to listen will have God's supernatural wisdom to vote and act according to His will.
With this in mind, I want to share some recent experiences I have had in prayer. I carry in my heart a spiritual passion for the United States, and I believe what I have learned in the last 10 years will help believers increase the intensity of their prayers and their hunger to cooperate with the Father's plan.
Just before President Clinton was elected in 1992, the Lord told me that He was placing a man in office who was not His choice. He said: "As Saul was to the children of Israel, so will Bill Clinton be to America." The Lord also told me that Clinton would be in office for two terms.
Saul's "election" was not God's idea but that of a wayward Israel. And Saul's leadership only led that nation further astray.
In a similar way we saw a drastic shift toward unrighteousness during the Clinton years. There was an acceleration of the homosexual agenda, an increase in teen crime and an obvious attack on the role of Christianity in our culture.
During those eight years, radical prayer, worship and righteous conviction declined among some church leaders. A "seeker friendly" church-growth philosophy kept the church nonoffensive, almost to the point of compromise.
Meanwhile the more Clinton sinned, the more people seemed to accept him. What happened in the nation's highest office filtered down to the grass roots.
Later, in 1996, I had a dream in which a brunette woman entered Clinton's office and engaged in an adulterous affair with him. I awoke suddenly when the word "impeachment" appeared.
I remember feeling so sad when news of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair and the subsequent impeachment discussions were aired in the media. It was a difficult time for the United States. Parents had to explain our president's immoral actions to their children.
However, during this time the Lord also said to me that He would raise up a godly leader who would replace Clinton. "After Clinton, I will raise up a man like David," the Lord said. "A chosen man after My heart who will lead this nation in righteousness."
America's "Saul," in other words, would be replaced by "David"--a man chosen by God, not men.
George W. Bush did not win the popular vote--he was not man's choice. The unusual circumstances surrounding the 2000 vote, including the endless recounts and the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, reminded us that God had intervened. I believe President Bush was God's choice.
What I am about to say may anger some people, especially those who are disgruntled with the economy or unhappy about the pace of the Iraq war. But please hear my thoughts and read all I have to say.
I believe God desires Bush to serve two terms of righteousness, just as Clinton served two terms of unrighteousness. We have been given a crucial window of time during which to ensure that righteousness prevails. There are several things I feel God wants to accomplish during these next four years that will enable the church to gain a more powerful platform of influence.
1. It's time to promote righteous legislation and religious freedom.
One of the greatest battles over righteousness in our nation relates to our courts. Activist judges are legislating according to their own perverse views. Yet I believe God is about to overturn laws and deal with unrighteous judges in our courts.
The Lord has shown me that two Supreme Court justices will be removed and then another will follow. After that, laws restricting certain Christian freedoms and convictions will be overturned. I believe this will trigger one of the greatest reformation efforts our country has witnessed.
When the Ten Commandments monument was removed from the Alabama state building in 2003, the Lord spoke this to me: "As they do this, they fail to realize that I have written these commandments on hearts. As a result, I will raise up a generation who will fight for My redemptive plans for America."
I believe people will fight harder for righteousness in the legal system during the next several years. But we need a righteous president in the White House in order for these efforts to succeed.
Prayer is so important as we approach this election. Have you prayed about who you are voting for?
In past elections, many Christians voted based on personal preferences rather than on righteousness. We cannot promote those who stand for abortion--or those who refuse to fight abortion-- just because their stance on other issues is the same as ours. The blood of the innocent unborn will be on us if we elect those who support such things.
2. It's time to expose wickedness and exalt righteousness.
I had a vision just before the 2000 election in which I saw the Lord remove Al Gore and place Bush in the White House. I prophesied about this publicly, so you can imagine my concern when newscasters initially announced that Gore had won. I wanted to hide!
If a prophet makes a mistake through prophecy he should correct himself publicly in order to maintain integrity in the ministry. However, I felt certain about this vision because the Lord had showed me that He wanted to use Bush to promote righteousness.
Immediately after the election the Lord spoke this to me: "George Bush Sr., George Bush Jr. This is a prophetic sign to the nation that I will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children so that the earth will not be cursed."
Of course, I remembered the prophecy in Malachi that says, "And He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse" (4:6).
I realized that God had placed a righteous leader in the White House in order to bless the nation. Sometime after Bush was elected in 2000, I heard the Lord say: "America will enter a season of war, but restoration has begun. I want this man seated for eight years, for as righteousness is seated, all things will be exposed."
The Lord also showed me that Psalm 101 applies in a prophetic way to Bush's presidency. This passage speaks of the integrity of the righteous man.
I know many people do not view the president as a man of integrity. His critics charge that he lied about weapons of mass destruction. Others blame him for the deaths of American soldiers. Satan has used increased oil prices and Hollywood's lies to discredit him.
The media has filled the air with lying spirits attempting to attack Bush. They are trying to destroy his character because they don't want righteousness to triumph. They know Bush stands for what is morally decent but that his opponent has the full support of those promoting abortion and same-sex marriage.
3. It's time to confront terrorism.
Early in 1999 my congregation and I felt impressed to pray for the city of Littleton, Colorado. Because this was before the Columbine massacre, we were not sure why we felt this concern--so we simply prayed in tongues. Then I gave a prophetic word that said: "When you see acts of terror go from the East Coast to the West Coast, know that a spirit of terrorism has been released against the nation."
A few months later the Columbine killers went on their rampage, killing 12 students and a teacher. I can only assume that the massacre would have been worse if we (and many others) had not prayed. However, the Columbine ordeal triggered a series of school shootings across the country, just as the Lord had warned.
A year later terror escalated against our country on an international scale, beginning with U.S. embassy bombings in Africa and the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen in 2000. These events led to the 9/11 attacks.
Though the high school shootings had no connection to the al-Qaida attacks from a natural standpoint, I perceive there was a correlation in the spiritual realm. A demonic spirit of terror was released against our country.
We cannot be ignorant of the unseen realm. We are battling today against the same ancient spirits that manipulated world events during the days of Daniel. These spirits oppose the gospel of Christ and want nothing more than to turn our country away from its foundational Christian beliefs.
God is using Bush to confront these forces as God's people bathe the situation in Iraq in prayer. And we cannot stop praying until God's plan has been realized in the Middle East. This is a spiritual war.
Like many churches, my congregation met to pray on September 11, 2001. While praying, I asked the Lord who was responsible for the attack. I then had a vision of a heart with the word "Afghanistan" written in the center. The words "Syria" and "Iraq" appeared around it.
Once again, I was not sure if all three nations had natural ties to terrorism or if they were just spiritual connections, but I have a sense there is more to be reported concerning their natural relationship.
You can imagine that I was not surprised when we escalated toward war in Iraq. The warfare we have been engaged in, both in Afghanistan and Iraq, is on both a spiritual and a natural level. It is not just about the capture of Osama bin Laden and other perpetrators of 9/11. It is also about combating the demons behind international terrorism.
In June 2003, the Lord spoke to me that Saddam Hussein would be captured by the first of the year and that this would dismantle a demonic shield that was protecting those who spread terrorism. As more perpetrators are exposed, I believe God will turn the mudslinging against the president into a landslide of favor to seat him for another four years.
We must pray and vote for righteousness so that restoration will come to our land. This election is not just about another four years. It's about defending Christian values.
I feel the Lord is saying: "My hand is turning over America as you pray, and I will use a progression of events to turn hearts toward Me as I stand by the one seated. I will raise the economy strong again and the oil prices will drop. There shall be great victory for America against terrorism. I am avenging the blood of the innocent slain in the World Trade Center."
America's future sways in the balance, and now is the time to pray. I'm convinced that during October the Lord will turn the nation toward the president simply because he stands for righteousness, and America's hidden enemies will continue to be exposed.
Our prayers can turn a nation that seems divided on many issues so that God's plans can be established. If we pray, the result for America will be righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Hank Kunneman and his wife, Brenda, are pastors of Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha, Nebraska. For more information about their ministry, call 402-896-6692 or log on to www.lohchurch.org.
Presidential Profile: George W. Bush
By Chris Glazier
IRAQ. Voted for the use of force against Saddam Hussein but later voted against the appropriation of $87 billion for the effort. Criticizes Bush's lack of international support and handling of the post-war occupation.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. Has opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment and did not vote when the bill came before the Senate in July. Supports same-sex civil unions (that include all the rights and benefits of heterosexual couples) but opposes gay marriage and the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Court to legalize it.
ABORTION. Believes in a woman's right to choose. Said he will appoint only pro-choice judges to the Supreme Court. Because of his pro-choice voting record, Kerry was rated a perfect "100" by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League in 2002.
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM. Served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 18 years. Wants any U.S. action in the Middle East to be in concert with other nations and has called for a "new era of alliances" to tackle problems in the region. Wants to increase the number of NATO-led troops in Afghanistan.
HOMELAND SECURITY. Proposes a six-point plan to ensure homeland security, which would provide more resources for first responders, enlist the National Guard, create a volunteer "Community Defense Service," reform domestic intelligence, improve public health standards and tighten port security. Criticizes parts of Bush's Patriot Act, which he deems too invasive.
EDUCATION. Voted for the No Child Left Behind Act but criticizes its lack of funding and focus on test scores. Proposes an Education Trust Fund to increase education funding. Opposes allowing parents to send children to private schools at public expense but supports school choice.
BROADCAST INDECENCY. Serves on the Senate Communications subcommittee and voted to toughen fines and decency standards. However, radio shock-jock Howard Stern and other controversial media personalities have vocally supported Kerry.
FAITH-BASED INITIATIVES. Has waffled on the issue but now appears to support faith-based initiatives, albeit with tighter restrictions than those imposed by the Bush administration.
ECONOMY. Wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts for people earning more than $200,000 annually. Would use the extra money to finance health care and education reforms. Wants to cut the deficit in half and has called for an end to American corporations outsourcing jobs to other countries.
PERSONAL FAITH. Roman Catholic. Earlier this year some American bishops suggested that Kerry should be denied Holy Communion because of his pro-choice views.
Presidential Profile: George W. Bush
By Chris Glazier
IRAQ. Led the United States into war with Iraq in 2003 without support from the United Nations. Handed over power to the Iraqi interim government on June 28 but plans to keep American troops there for as long as it takes to establish security.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. Opposes giving legal sanction to gay marriages. Proposed the Federal Marriage Amendment, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
ABORTION. Opposes abortion. Would allow exceptions in cases of incest, rape or threat to the mother's life. Signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM. Adopted a doctrine of pre-emption after the 9/11 attacks. In 2001 he led the war in Afghanistan to end the rule of the Taliban regime and the al-Qaida network. Considered the war in Iraq as part of the war on terrorism. Has proposed an increase of $15.3 billion in defense spending to thwart terrorists.
HOMELAND SECURITY. Has created numerous programs to increase domestic security, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center and the Container Security Initiative (to increase port security). Also passed the USA Patriot Act, which expanded the government's ability to gather private information and increases communication between intelligence branches and law enforcement.
EDUCATION. Created the No Child Left Behind Act, which increases accountability for educational quality in each state. Supports allowing parents to use vouchers to send their children to private schools. Wants to overhaul the early childhood program Head Start to require that by 2008 half its teachers will be college graduates.
BROADCAST INDECENCY. Under the Bush administration the Federal Communications Commission has been significantly stricter in enforcing its broadcast indecency laws.
FAITH-BASED INITIATIVES. Established the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to provide federal funding for faith-based organizations that provide services to the community. He has promised that government funding of these organizations will not impede on religious freedoms, including the ability to hire staff based on religion.
ECONOMY. Claims that without his tax cuts, unemployment over the last four years would have been dramatically higher. Plans to help train workers for higher-skilled jobs. Has vowed to cut the deficit in half.
PERSONAL FAITH. Raised an Episcopalian, Bush says his Christian faith was renewed in the 1980s after a personal crisis. He attends a Methodist church.