Our nation has long awaited the end of this presidential election. Now that it’s over, we are left to pick up the pieces of a country that is fractured and deeply divided. Some are pleased with the outcome, while many feel disenfranchised. One side is fearful and worried for the future, and the other feels hopeful and optimistic.

But regardless of who will be sworn in as president on Inauguration Day, one thing remains true. As the body of Christ, Scripture is clear in Romans 13 that “all authority is established by God.” While many were surprised by this election, God was not. And as believers, we are called to influence our nation through prayer. Look at the words of Paul to Timothy:

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. —1 Timothy 2:1–4 NLT

There are three groups we are told to pray for in this passage.

The first is all people. Our nation is split in half. Pray for healing of the division, grace in our speech toward one another, and unity. Pray for peace in our inner cities. Pray for those who feel like they are on the outside looking in. Give thanks even for those you disagree with.

The second group is kings. In America’s case, we don’t live under a king, but we do have a president, governors, mayors, and so on. Our nation will face many complex challenges in the next several years, and it is important that those who lead have wisdom and discernment from God. Pray that God directs their paths. Proverbs 21:2 says, It’s as easy for God to steer a king’s heart for His purposes as it is for Him to direct the course of a stream (TPT).” Pray they surround themselves with godly counsel. As we look at the Old Testament, there were rulers who sought out the counsel of men who feared God, and the nation prospered as a result. There were also those leaders who rejected godly counsel and as a result, the nation and God’s people suffered.

Finally, we are told to pray for all who are in authority. From Congress members to judges, and those who serve on the local school board, pray for righteousness to rule in their hearts. There are countless decisions to be made that will affect our lives and our freedoms. These decisionmakers need God’s help to lead us well. Pray they lead in a way that allows us to live peaceful and quiet lives that reflect Christ to the world.

No matter who you voted for this election—whether your candidate won or you are disappointed with the results—God’s Word remains. It applied two millennia ago when Paul wrote these words to a church experiencing persecution and great difficulty, and it applies equally to the church today. There is tremendous power when God’s people mobilize in prayer. May we be a people who submit to  and honor those God has placed over us. May we be known for building them up in prayer rather than tearing them down with our words. May we not further sow into a culture of division, but may we pray for and seek peace and unity with all men.