Pray For our Leaders
The elections are coming up. Are you praying for our leaders and candidates?
Two friends with radically different political views are on their way to the polls on election day. One guy turns to the other and says "You know, we've argued about this for months, and we're obviously going to vote for different candidates. Our votes will cancel each other out anyways, so why don't we just call it a draw and go home instead?" Other guy agrees, they shake hands and part ways.
Another guy who overheard the conversation approaches the dealmaker and says with admiration, "That's a real sportsmanlike offer you just made!"
"Not really," guy says, "Just this afternoon I've already done this three times."
Some people don't believe their vote will make a difference. Worse, some people believe their prayers wont make a difference. At this time we are reminded how the decisions of elected officials will affect our daily lives. Our jobs, taxes, education, and understanding of the Constitutional Law are put up for auction at the cost of a vote.
Paul writes to Timothy (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."
We have a voice, and it's more powerful than a vote. James tells us the prayer of the righteous has great power to prevail (James 5:16). He goes on to mention Elijah praying that it would not rain and it didn't for three years. The greatest part is that James says Elijah was a man just like us.
In Deuteronomy God wishes to destroy Israel and start over with Moses. He says, "Leave me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven (Deut 9:13-14)." He fell down before the Lord with no food or drink for forty days and nights pleading with the Lord. He convinced God not to destroy the people. Moses changed God's mind a couple times through prayer.
There are many examples in scripture of prayers and intercessions changing the course of history. Our prayers have an impact on those in leadership. God is working through His people.
Paul encourages us to pray for our leaders so we may worship in peace. It's important we pursue peace in order to live in godliness and holiness. God wishes all to be saved.
If you think this is difficult, imagine the time in which Paul is praying. He is under the rule of Nero. A very violent and deviant leader. He persecuted Christians in order to cast blame for the burning of Rome. He was accused and criticized for the burning of up to 70% of Rome.
He turned his sights on the Christians in Rome focusing the hate of the masses on them to divert from his possible actions.
Tacitus (c. A.D. 60-120), a Roman historian, has preserved a record of this situation. We quote the following from his Annals (XV.44) (Christian Courier).
“And so, to get rid of this rumor, Nero set up [i.e., falsely accused] as the culprits and punished with the utmost refinement of cruelty a class hated for their abominations, who are commonly called Christians. Christus, from whom their name is derived, was executed at the hands of the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. Checked for a moment, this pernicious superstition again broke out, not only in Judea, the source of the evil, but even in Rome.... Accordingly, arrest was first made of those who confessed [to being Christians]; then, on their evidence, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much on the charge of arson as because of [their] hatred for the human race. Besides being put to death they were made to serve as objects of amusement; they were clothed in the hides of beasts and torn to death by dogs; others were crucified, others set on fire to serve to illuminate the night when daylight failed. Nero had thrown open his grounds for the display, and was putting on a show in the circus, where he mingled with the people in the dress of charioteer or drove about in his chariot. All this gave rise to a feeling of pity, even towards men whose guilt merited the most exemplary punishment; for it was felt that they were being destroyed not for the public good but to gratify the cruelty of an individual.”
It is important we include our government and civic leaders in our prayers, in order to live peaceful, godly, and holy lives. God wishes all to know the truth.
Have you prayed for your leaders?
In His service and yours,