Each week, we turn our focus to praying for a specific person or group of people.
If you missed the original post on effective prayer, read it here.
Effective prayer is a learned habit requiring discipline and diligence. To that end, I am encouraging you to write down the people you are praying for. Part of building and maintaining habits is to have reminders and tracking tools. Making a list isn’t self-righteous or sacreligious. It is a tool. We devote time to counting calories, monitoring money, checking Facebook, making to-do lists–is prayer of lesser importance?
For other posts regarding prayer, click on “prayer” in the categories tab.
Focus for this week: The President
There are two topics most people avoid—religion and politics.
Since this blog deals with God and the bible, it already falls under “religion” category. I don’t want to focus on politics, but with regards to prayer, we should be taking the time to focus on politics a little bit.
No matter how one feels about the folks in office, they are still in charge. I’m sure the first century Christians were not enamored with Emperor Nero or Domitian. Those two guys weren’t the nicest people to have walked the face of the earth. In spite of how these rulers treated the early Christians, Paul encouraged prayer for them. We are living in times in which there is growing disdain for Christians. The leaders in the government not only attempt to marginalize us, but are making decisions that imperil us in the sight of the law.
Last week we focused on praying for law enforcement officers. They are the arm of the law, making sure it is carried out. This week, I want to focus on the head man—the president. No matter how much the head of the government may cast blame on those beneath him, ultimately, the buck stops at his desk. He has been given power to govern the entire country and needs to take responsibility for what goes on within it.
To that end, we need to pray for him. If you are gagging on this, as I am sure many of you are, please please please try to put yourself in the place of the early Christians who were not only appalled by the decisions of the emperor, but were often put to death in unimaginable ways because of those decisions.
So, what should we ask in our prayers for our President?
Pray that he will make decisions to allow us to live a peaceful and quiet life.
I used this scripture last week, and I am going to use it again here. Read what Paul wrote to Timothy:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2.1-4
If we desire to continue to the peaceful and quiet life that we have been blessed with, we need to pray for the person that is in charge of the country—whether we like him or not. More importantly, we need to pray for him because we are commanded to.
Pray for him to lead righteously.
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
I think our country has groaned under the weight of corruption for years. Every country in the history of the world has been plagued by less than desirable rulers. If we pray for our president to learn the way of righteousness and truth, the country will eventually be blessed and we will not groan under the weight of evil.
If you think such a thing is impossible, consider that in the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar was brought low by God for his arrogance. I often wonder if Daniel prayed for Nebuchadnezzar, since Nebuchadnezzar had three major miracles happen that ultimately made him recognize the sovereignty of Almighty God.
Consider also Pharaoh in the account in Exodus with his hard heart. He too was humbled by God for a greater purpose. It could be that we have to endure a few bad presidents so that the people will learn to vote with greater care.
God always has a purpose. Pray for His will to be done.
Pray for him not to be persuaded by rich gifts or bribery.
The king gives stability to the land by justice, But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.
~Proverbs 29:4 NASB
A leader with integrity won’t be swayed just because one group has money and the other does not. Unfortunately, most politicians listen to the jangling of coins rather than the cry for justice.
Pray that he will discard lies and focus on truth.
If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, All his ministers become wicked.
Proverbs 29:12 NASB
I think the proverb is self-explanatory. The president delegates authority and, as we have seen, sometimes presidents pick the wrong people.
I know that the president is not well-liked, and the things I have suggested for prayers may seem impossible or unrealistic. We know that every president for the last several years has been persuaded by his donors. We know that most presidents pick people for cabinet positions because of their contributions to his campaigns. I know what goes on, and I am not blind to it. The president we have in office now has violated many of these things we are praying for. Yet, we still need to pray for him. We are commanded to. We need to trust God to direct the course of the country for His good purpose.
Furthermore, consider the words of Jesus:
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Let us pray together to great effect for the president so that we may live in peace and dignity.