Pray for Your Authorities
1 Tim 2:1-4 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Rom 13: 1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Pray for Our Nation and Our Nation's Leaders. In the midst of tragedy, the leaders of our nation need wisdom from the Lord.
In light of the plane crash at The World Trade Center, this is the time, brothers and sisters in Christ, when we must unite in prayer, seeking wisdom for our nation's leaders.
Political Leadership is God-Ordained
It is easy for us at times to feel ho-hum about politics, even as Christians. Sometimes we despair of what we believe to be inevitable corruption. We might feel helpless in a sea of endless campaigning and relentless mudslinging. We tire of the debates, which seem to be ranked more on Nielsen ratings and entertainment value than on the character of the leaders.
This year I challenge you to throw off any attitude of cynicism or apathy toward our governmental bodies, and instead, to pray for our nation's leaders, both those who are currently in power and those that shall be given such authority.
Our rulers hold a special place of authority over us that is instigated by God. Several Scriptures point to the importance of submission to leadership:
"Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you" (Hebrews 13:17).
"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has stablished. The authorities that exist have been established by God" (Romans 13:1).
"Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer" (Romans 13:3-4).
Jesus said, "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's" (Matthew 20: 25).
Since leadership comes from the Lord and it will remain a significant part of our lives, we must uphold our government not only in duty, but also in prayer.
As we pray for those leaders who are in power, we can pray that they would make just and wise decisions, that they would show mercy and charity to those in need, that they would be honest and single-minded in purpose and in action, that they would wield power with the responsibility and seriousness of the position which they occupy, and that they would be God-fearing people in both word and deed.
What can we pray for when we pray for our Leaders?
Sometimes we don't always know exactly what kinds of traits that we should be looking for in our future political leaders.
1) Righteous and God-fearing Leaders
"When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth" (2 Samuel 23:3).
2) Leaders Who Do Not Misuse Their Position of Power
"The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, 'You are not to go back that way again.' He must not take many wives, or his
heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold" (Deuteronomy 17:16,17).
3) Leaders Who are Wise and Have Teachable Spirits
"Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling" (Psalm 2:10,11).
4) Loving and Faithful Leaders
"Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure" (Proverbs 20:28).
5) Leaders Who Flee from Bribery, Corruption, Flattery
"By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down" (Proverbs 29:4).
6) Leaders Who are Charitable and Compassionate Toward the Poor
"If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure" (Proverbs 29:14).
Prayers of the Righteous Can Change a Nation
Simply put, prayer changes things. That is not bumper sticker theology; it is the truth. God hears the prayers of the saints, of those who trust in the name of the Lord. And God can and will change an entire political landscape as He did in days of old according to His will. If you don't think the prayers for our leaders matter to God, then I present to you several examples in the Bible of times when the righteous prayers of God's children stopped the impending outcome of doom for a city or for a people.
Several times in the Scriptures, God called one of His prophets to proclaim a message of repentance so that a city or nation would turn from its wicked ways and be mercifully saved from further wrath.
God restores the land of Judah. Back in the times of the
prophet Joel, the land of Judah was being ravaged by locusts, which meant widespread famine for God's people. God gave Joel the solution to the nation's doom: the people must repent and return to the Lord. This was no joke.
As it is written in Joel 2:12-13, "Even now, declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity."
The Lord asked His people to repent and to seek His face. If the people would acknowledge their sins and ask for God's mercy through weeping and fasting, then the Lord says He would send abundant provision and restore Judah. That is a total reversal of misfortune that only God could bring about.
God holds back His wrath on Nineveh. Before Jonah ran
from the Lord and subsequently got swallowed by the big fish, he was supposed to go to the corrupt city of Nineveh, a very important city in Jonah's day, and preach a message of repentance. When Jonah finally relented, he presented this message: 'Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.' This message eventually reached the king. In response to the message of this bold and righteous servant of the Lord, the king proclaimed a city-wide fast of food and drink and a time of urgent prayer to God for His mercy.
When God saw the repentant hearts of the people of the city of Nineveh, the Bible says He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had promised. (See Jonah 3.)
God Spares the Jews
The Book of Esther is another fine example of how prayer can change things dramatically. Esther had become queen by God's positioning, so that she could be instrumental in the political arena to free her people, the Jews, from the oppressive plot of Haman. After learning of Haman's evil schemes, Esther asked for all her brothers and sisters in the Lord to fast and pray for her for three days so that she could
approach the king with the news, gain favor, and prevent her nation from being destroyed by a corrupt and godless man.
The God-fearing Jews did as was told. Esther was able to approach the king, save her nation, and gain the highest favor! All because the people sought the face of the Lord.
Pray For Our Nation
There are many more examples from Scripture that point to this same concept: prayer staves off the wrath of God. If you want to see great things ahead, if you want to see godly men and women in positions of power and authority, if you want the name of the Lord proclaimed freely, then fall on your face before the Lord Your God. Ask Him not only for leaders who have all those godly traits mentioned earlier, but ask also for mercy upon this nation that has done many things wrongly in the sight of God. Seek the Lord on His Holy Hill and He shall
It is such a sobering thought for us today to think what might have happened had God not been acknowledged as the One and Only Deliverer in those biblical examples. What would have happened had the prophets not called upon the name
of the Lord, asking for grace and mercy? What would have happened if the wicked people in those corrupt cities had not sought the face of the Lord in prayer, asking for forgiveness? Surely destruction would have come.
As we begin a new period of history, let's not look to technology to save us; rather, let us look to the One True God as we kneel in prayer for our nation.