Praying for our political leaders, as God commands His people to do, can be difficult, especially when we did not vote for them nor do we agree with their agenda or even like them personally. However, we are not called to pray for their secular agenda to be successful; instead, we are to pray for their hearts, for their spiritual lives, and for their souls that they will turn their hearts and lives over to Jesus and follow His will.
- ROMANS 13:1 (NIV): “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
- TITUS 3:1-2 (NCV): “Remind the believers to yield to the authority of rulers and government leaders, to obey them, to be ready to do good, to speak no evil about anyone, to live in peace, and to be gentle and polite to all people.”
- PSALMS 62:11 (NASB20): “God has spoken once; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.”
Political Leaders Need Our Prayers
PRAYING FOR OUR political leaders, especially those I dislike, disrespect, and wish would go away, is extremely difficult for me.
I don’t say that in a public forum with a great deal of pride, only as a confession that I have been, and continue to be, guilty of failing to abide by God’s clear directive that I offer prayer for all those in political power.
I prefer praying for those political leaders I admire and those I voted for, while ignoring those whose lives are, in my view, not worth my attention.
I also am aware that some readers of this blog might experience the same dilemma, even while their prayers are raised for the very leaders I disdain.
God sees this differently. I know that. I only need to refer back to our text source Bible verses at the top of this meditation to be reminded.
So, why do I continue to resist?
Well, this was unexpected. Although I wrote that question, I can’t provide an adequate answer. So, I’m stumped.
Getting Over Ourselves
THE KEY FOR ME is to “get over” myself, my judgmentalism, my willingness to write politicians off if they’re from the “wrong” party. Yes, they might be promoting issues, like abortion and same-sex marriage, that I believe clearly are contrary to the Bible’s teaching.
But my hesitation to pray for God’s will to be done in their lives also is contrary to the Bible’s teaching. Much less pleasant is to recognize that my disobedience is no better than someone else’s disobedience.
When I confront this difficulty, I start to think I’m turning a corner and I really could begin to pray for the President and Vice President, the House Speaker, the Senate Majority Leader, and various other individuals.
Then one of them appears on TV and says something that I consider incredibly stupid, and I backslide. Can’t pray for that person. He/she is just a horrible person and praying for him/her is a waste of my time. My teeth grind just thinking about it!
What Should We Do?
THE ANSWER, OF COURSE, is found in the Bible.
In Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, he questioned whether he would rather be alive on earth so he could continue to preach the Gospel or perish so he could be with the risen Lord.
He concluded that, just as Christ “died for all,” those of us who are living “should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Cor. 5:15 NKJV)
He said, “Our only goal is to please God whether we live here (on earth) or there (in Heaven).” (2 Cor. 5:9 NCV)
Seeking God’s will and following it is the correct course, and even feeling called to write this meditation about my failure is acknowledging God’s call on my life to obey Him.
I need to — I will — change course and lift prayer each day for our political leaders, even those I despise, not that their unbiblical agenda will be fulfilled but that they will be changed into followers of the risen Christ.
We read this is 1 Peter 2:17 (ESV):
“Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
AMEN AND AMEN.
FATHER GOD, FORGIVE ME for continued failure to obey Your command to pray for our rulers andthose You have placed in authority over us. It is not my job to discern if You willed their placement to do Your will or because You withheld your restraining hand and have given us the evil we deserve. It is my job, in humility and obedience, to lift them up to You in prayer, that You would work on their hearts and change them into Christ’s followers. In Jesus’ magnificent and glorious name we pray. AMEN
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