Scripture calls believers to pray for those in authority, regardless of political party or allegiance.
Government functions to provide a framework for an organized society, while our devotion and compass for what is true and good are rooted in the unchanging truths of God laid out in Scripture.
WHY to pray
In the days Jesus spent on earth, there was tension within the local Jewish leaders concerning the overlying occupation by the Roman government. History records several uprisings and rebellions against the Romans during the same time period, however, Jesus’ teachings primarily revolved around the Kingdom of God. The book of Mark records the now famous words that Jesus uttered “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, render unto God what is God’s” to show that government has a use, but it is not our savior and cannot compete with our allegiance to Christ Jesus.
In our country, our government has many different sectors that perform many different tasks. Local government influences the buildings and schools that populate communities State government influences the operation of businesses and the roadways to get to them. Federal government influences the relationships with other nations for international commerce and military aide for our allies.
The ‘forest’ of government is full of ‘trees’ that are the individually elected and appointed officials who are tasked with representing the interests of their constituents and seeking wise counsel to make decisions to lead our country forward. The sphere of government leaders need our prayers!
HOW to pray
Pray the Father’s heart. To do this, seek scripture for the places God reveals how we should interact and participate in government. Meditating on scripture before beginning prayer puts our hearts into a position of submission to the will of God. These verses are good starting places to see God’s purpose for Government:
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. - 1 Peter 2:16-17 ESV
First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. – 1 Timothy 2:1-2 NASB
When a land is in rebellion, it has many rulers, but with a discerning and knowledgeable person, it endures. – Proverbs 28:2 HCSB
WHAT to pray
- Provide leaders with wise and godly counselors who will provide honest wisdom and encouragement
- Well up humility in the hearts of leaders to make apologies or adjustments when these things are necessary
- Lord, pour out a spirit of cooperation between elected leaders
- Break down the barriers that are built up by selfish ambition for personal power
- Safeguard the marriages and families of elected leaders who spend large portions of time away from home
- God, give leaders clarity to know what issues are most important to dedicate their time toward
- Soften the hearts of leaders to hear and understand the needs of the communities they serve
- Bring a spirit of harmony and righteousness among the staff members who work to support each elected leader
- Protect leaders from falling into temptations of bribes, unfaithfulness or straying from what they know is right. Lord, protect them from the plots of evil to stand for what You have established