Last fall, as our country was gearing up for the presidential election, I wrote a rough draft of this article. I ended up not publishing it, mostly because I was seeing so many other bloggers writing in some way about the election. I personally felt saturated politically and didn’t want to read one more article referring to it, even if it was my own.
So why send this out now? I really thought (and hoped) that all the political hub-bub would have blown over by now. Unless you are living on a deserted island with no cell phone coverage, you know that conflicts are still raging and likely escalating. As the evening news airs each evening and our country’s latest governmental battles are examined in detail, I find myself feeling frustrated and helpless. Will there ever be even a semblance of peace again?
My knee jerk reaction is to start looking for that deserted island. I don’t want to hear anything anymore from either side. Unlike many people, I’ve never enjoyed debates. I don’t see them as entertaining contests, but as polarizing arguments. I want to literally plug my ears and pretend our world is a happy place.
The amazing reality is that I’m not as helpless as I feel when it comes to affecting my governmental powers. When I read the Bible, I find that I should be personally involved, rather than pretending my leaders don’t exist. Now, if that last statement has you grabbing your sign to rally for your favorite side of a cause, I’m afraid you may be looking in your Bible for a long time to find supporting verses. What we are told is to pray for our leaders. They need our prayers, even when they don’t know it (in fact, maybe especially then!) and they need us to keep praying! By the way, this includes, not just those in the volatile United States of America, but any of you from other countries who have leaders. I think that includes all of us!
Reasons we should pray for our leaders, even when we don’t feel like it:
1) – We are to pray for all people. We are to pray for our fellow believers. Got that. We are to pray that our loved ones are saved or are restored. Got that. We are to pray for our enemies. Hmmm. We are to pray for the king. Hmmm.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 – First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2) – We are not only to pray for our leaders, but be thankful for them. Hmmm.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Colossians 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
3) – Our leaders, as bad as we may think they are, stand in God’s place. I believe this is similar to the mandate that children are to obey their parents. Children are not told to decide if their parents are God-like and then obey if they are. God has made certain hierarchies of authority and we are to respect and obey that position, as long as obeying them doesn’t keep us from obeying God. When we do honor them, we honor God in return.
1 Peter 2:17 – Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Titus 3:1,2 – Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
4) God put our leaders where they are. This is a hard one for many Christians to accept. My questions are: Is God in the minority when people vote in an ungodly ruler? Could God be doing something at this moment differently if some other ruler had been voted for? Is God powerful, except in the voting process?
Daniel 2:20-22 – Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.
5) – We were put in this country to pray for it. This country is just a temporary stop in our eternal lives. We could have been placed anywhere by God, but He put us here. Instead of entangling ourselves in the earthly affairs of our stop-over, we are to pray for our country and those who are leading it.
Jeremiah 29:7 – But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
6) – Finally, we are to pray for our leaders because they could repent and be saved. When you think of your governmental leaders, do you think there is any chance that they could get saved? Are those in your country’s leadership any farther away from God than I was before I was born-again? Can God save someone in our church, but can’t save our president? Is there anything that is impossible for God? Just think for a minute with me…can you imagine what would take place if our leaders repented and turned to God with all their hearts? I’m pretty sure there would be a huge attempt at covering it up because things would have to change. I think the best Washington DC psychologists would be called in because certainly some sort of mental illness must be responsible for such a radical change. Isn’t that what was implied with Paul (Acts 26:24)?
Jonah 3:5-7 – And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water….”
May God give us all a renewed urgency to pray for our leaders – ALL of them, no matter what political party they originate in. May He guide each person in authority, whether they know it or not and may He work His ultimate purposes through them, even if His purposes are to bring us into the last days. Last, but not least, may God show His ultimate power by enlightening their eyes to His truths and even, in His will, saving some to our amazement!
Today no matter if your country is run by President Trump of the U.S., King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister May of Great Britain, Chairman Xi Jinping of China, or some other leader – pray for them. You say that they are corrupt and ungodly? Pray all the more!