The elections are over, and we may or may not have voted for those that were elected. But now the hard part begins. Our job as Christians is to pray for those leading us – whether we voted for them or not. The Bible tells us in several places to pray for our leaders.
Our Bible study group is studying I Timothy where we encountered Paul reinforcing to Pastor Timothy: “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered for everyone – for kings and all those in authority – so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity.” That’s 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
Paul’s teaching of praying for leaders is seen as a priority because he listed it as ‘first.’ Why should we pray for those that rule or oversee us? He explains in verse two, so that we may lead quiet lives of godliness. Good leaders, following God’s directions, will make our lives better. He goes on to say in verse three that praying this way is pleasing to the Lord.
By praying for our leaders, we will see multiple fruitful outcomes. First, we please God. Second, we trust that as we have asked Him, He will teach them to be good leaders. And third, when we pray for others, our hearts are softened toward them as we begin to see them just as we are: imperfect humans.
I know that some of us would just as well grumble for two more years and then maybe the next four after that. But really, God shows us that this way is better. Maybe it helps to know that the authority over the world’s leaders is God; He will use those in power as He wishes.
Proverbs 21:1 tells us that “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He pleases.”
How amazing it is that our God not only knows the hearts of each leader, but He also asks us to pray for every one of them. When we consider praying for our leaders, we can start with the individuals in the three branches of our Federal government, including the President, Congress, and Supreme Court.
As we lift up our leaders in prayer, we seek that their hearts will be turned toward God and that their rulings will follow His desires. And, as a reminder, Paul tells us to also give God thanks for these leaders.
We actually have a very long list of those that make decisions for us (or at our request) and next we can lift up the same three branches of our state government and move on to our municipal leaders. Those are a lot of hearts for God to turn to His will.
He asks us to seek His face for these men and women! We should make a point to take the time to pray for them. Keep in mind that advisers and office staff often have great influence on our leaders so we can include them in our prayers as well.
What a blessing it is to receive prayer. When someone tells me they are praying for me I am so very blessed knowing that another person is interceding for me to keep my eyes on Jesus. Maybe our leaders would also like to know that we are praying for them?
I think if you dropped a card to any one of our leaders and told them you were lifting them up in prayer – not mentioning any political opinions – they might be thankful and maybe even hopeful that God would direct their paths. The myriad daily decisions they make must sometimes seem overwhelming.
One of the verses I particularly like when praying for our leaders is Proverbs 2:11: “Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.” Wisdom, knowledge, kindness, and awareness that the Lord is watching over our every action is also good to pray for all of us but especially for our leaders.
Our job then as Christians is to always be in prayer, and to remember our leaders.
We are God’s people let us praise and thank Him that we live in this country that He has allowed to thrive for over 200 years now. We are mightily blessed to live in the land of the free where we still take part in the choice of our leaders.
I challenge us all to pray for our current leaders and to begin praying now for the 2024 election so that the person of God’s choosing is the one to be elected. And then, let us pray for them.
ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City. Email her at writerGoodGod@gmail.com
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