“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” – I Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV).
Unless you have no access to media, you know that the word “divisive” would best describe 2016. Lines were drawn. Anger increased and hate-filled words filled the airwaves and appeared on Internet sites. Christians were not exempt.
I don’t want to dwell on the ugliness, but we, as Christians, need to seek unity, stand firm in our faith, show grace to those who do not and hold our leaders—at all levels—accountable. But even more important, there’s one more thing we must do. We must pray for the wisdom and well-being of our elected leaders.
We can learn from the words found in Ezekiel 22:30. “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”
Prayer creates a revolutionary spin on the natural tendency
to resist or resent authority.
We are the ones who must stand in the gap for our leaders. We must lift up our nation with all its faults before the throne of God and pray that He continues to work in our midst.
In “The Battle Plan for Prayer” by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, the authors write: “Since the influence of people in these positions can cause such a ripple effect, and because their various roles are fraught with hard choices and difficulty, the Bible commands us to pray for all those in leadership over us. (See 1 Timothy 2:1-2 above)
We must pray “for their salvation, for their ability to lead or govern, for their commitment to the highest standards and priorities, both personally and professionally.”
If our candidate was not elected, we shouldn’t harbor resentment. We must pray for ourselves as well. Regardless of the election outcome, we are all affected by the choices our leaders make. The choice we make, whether to pray for our leaders or continue to bemoan the election results, ultimately affects our future and the future of our great nation.
The Kendricks write, “So prayer creates a revolutionary spin on the natural tendency to resist or resent authority. God’s call for us is to realize that unless they are asking us to sin, our obeying of authority (in all other situations) is actually obeying Him. And by praying for those in authority, we are working in the best interest of everyone.
“By faithfully praying for your country’s top leaders and elected officials, even those whose views differ from yours, knowing their leadership touches the lives of the many people under their jurisdiction. God still uses imperfect authorities to carry out His perfect purposes (John 19:11; Acts 4:24-28). The Lord, of course, is able to turn the heart of a ruler (Prov. 21:1), and our impassioned prayers and petitions are part of how He does it.”
Join me in starting a prayer revolution in the New Year!