Praying for one’s government

Now, I am not writing this, because our Prime Minister comes from The Shire, is a Christian and goes for the Sharks in the NRL – but it does make it a little easier. As we’ve just had a Federal Election, I thought I’d write this to give us some idea as to what some of the Scriptures tell us to do. The Bible contains, as one would expect, many commands to pray for our leaders: national and local, secular and religious. In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, the apostle Paul writes, 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. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. God also told his people when they were exiled, to pray for the city in which they would live, Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper (Jeremiah 29:7). In Romans 13:1 we are told, 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. Prayer is important. And it seems the Bible makes special mention of praying for those in positions of authority. Such authorities include government officials (international, national, and local) and pastors, church elders, school boards, school principals, employers, and the like. We do not pray for our leaders simply because we are commanded to. Praying for them makes practical sense. Our leaders can greatly affect the conditions we live in and have an impact on our families, our churches, our workplaces, our cities, and our countries. When those in authority are obeying the will of God, it is easier to ‘live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness’ – it is also probably easier for people ‘to come to a knowledge of the truth’ (1 Timothy 2:2 & 4). When evil men are in authority, our prayers for them are just as needed, as illustrated by 1William Tyndale’s last words before burnt at the stake (for trumped-up heresy): “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” 1William Tyndale, pretty much, translated the Bible into English for us!


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September 13, 2020