“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession
and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all
those in authority, that we may live peaceful and
quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This
is good, and pleases God our Savior.”
(I Timothy 2:1-3)
Thoughts… In this year’s presidential campaign, it was purported that one of the candidate’s own mothers said that you might have to hold your nose and vote for her son. With a mom like that, who needs an opposition party!
If the Apostle Paul were writing today to twenty-first century American believers, he’d probably say, “Not only do I want you to vote, I want you to make sure you pray for the candidates. And while you are at it, I want you to also pray for the president and congress—Republican and Democrat, conservatives and liberals alike. It’s in your best interest to lift them daily before the Father’s throne. Besides, it pleases God when you do!”
That is a hard pill to swallow these days with the rapscallion Republicans and disingenuous Democrats who are ruling our land. If you are like me, you find their hypocritical lifestyles, their pandering politics, their out-of-control spending, and the blatant disregard for God in their politics odious. Frankly, it’s hard for me to pray for them. Perhaps Paul just didn’t foresee the kinds of political leaders we would have to put up with in our time, much less pray for.
Wait just a minute! Did you ever consider who the emperor was when Paul wrote these words, and what conditions were like during the first century? The emperor was none other than Nero—one of the worst of the worst of all the Roman emperors. Without going into all the horrific details, Nero was responsible for some of the worst persecution against Christians at any time in history.
Yet Paul says to the believers of his day, “Pray for him. Intercede on his behalf…even thanking God for his leadership.” Huh? That’s right! Paul wanted the church to pray for this horrible man so that God would use his leadership as a launching pad for the propagation of the Gospel.
Wow! If the believers of Paul’s day could pray for a leader like Nero—a man who was bent on torturing and killing them, then there is no legitimate reason I can come up with to resist genuinely praying for the men, and perhaps women, who are or will be my president.
I am obligated to pray, intercede, and be grateful to God on their behalf. When I do, I demonstrate that I am a believer not just with a political view, but a citizen with a kingdom view. And better still, I invite Divine pleasure into my life by taking such a godly posture.
I don’t know about you, but I think I will pray for my leaders today!
Prayer… Dear Father, I lift the political candidates of both parties, as well as the President and the leaders of Congress before your throne. I pray for their wellbeing and wisdom. Give them courage and resolve to do the right thing. I ask that you use them as your instruments to create the kinds of conditions in which the Gospel will best grow. Thank you for them. Bless them. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
One More Thing… “The government of the United States is acknowledged by the wise and good of other nations, to be the most free, impartial, and righteous government of the world; but all agree, that for such a government to be sustained many years, the principles of truth and righteousness, taught in the Holy Scriptures, must be practiced.” —Emma Willard, 1843