With everything that has been going on lately, it is important that Christians continue to pray for their leaders. Paul commands us to do this in his letter to Timothy:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4
I have heard some Christians claim that they will not pray for the current leadership in our country (particularly our president). Normally, they justify this action (or lack of action) with statements about their wickedness or bad leadership or something else of that nature. While I do not agree with many of the decisions that our current leaders have made nor with their beliefs about certain moral issues (particulalry abortion and same-sex marriage), that does not exempt me from obeying 1 Timothy 2:1-4. Truth is, I suspect Paul (and others throughout Christian history) have faced far worse leaders than the ones we presently have. And even if we could make a convincing argument that our leaders are the worst, there still remains no caveat in Paul’s call for prayer. In other words, Paul is not telling us to pray for just the good leaders, but for all leaders.
So what should we pray? Although a number of things could be said in response to this question, let me just give you a few ideas and place them under two headings:
For those who are not Christians:
- We should pray for their salvation since God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Lord, open the eyes of our leaders and bring them to saving faith in Jesus Christ, who paid for their sins at the cross and was raised on the third day.
- We should pray for their wisdom so that “we may lead a peaceful and quiet life.” As Christians, we are not called to ‘fight the man!’ We are called to submit (Romans 13, 1 Peter 2:13-17). Our hope and our prayer is that those in authority will yield the sword wisely for the good of those under them (Christians included). Lord, give our leaders wisdom as they make decisions for the future of our country.
For those who are Christians:
- We should pray for their sanctification. I do not envy the difficult position that these men and women are in, but I am thankful that they are willing to serve. My hope is that the Lord will continue to use every situation to make them more like Jesus. Lord, help these men and women to be faithful followers of Christ.
- We should pray for their wisdom. We need Christian leaders to guide and direct in ways that allow all citizens to lead peaceful and quiet lives. Yet, the temptation to compromise and lose integrity is great. Lord, help our leaders to be wise as they hold fast to their Christian convictions.
In these days and all days, Paul calls for us to pray for our leaders. May we be obedient to that task for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.