In 2 Timothy 2:2, we are admonished to pray for those who are in authority over us.

Paul wrote this to his young protege Timothy during the vicious reign of emperor Nero when many Christians were being tortured and put to death.  This helps us understand that this kind of prayer is not an option to consider, but a command to obey.  Nevertheless, I find that I haven’t prayed as I should for America’s leaders and perhaps you have not as well.  

The purpose of today’s article is to remind us of the urgency of prayer for our nation’s leaders.  While I do not believe that America is an exceptional nation, I do believe it has been blessed by an exceptional God because of some exceptional people who founded it on the exceptional principle of freedom.  Now, more than ever, due to the moral degradation in our nation, we see the need to pray.  

In doing so, we must remember that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.  Our enemy is not a person, a party, or a platform, but the principalities who follow the plan and purpose of Satan.    Prayer then is a great battlefield where we pray not for a better economy, or more power, or control of world affairs, but for an atmosphere that is conducive to the spreading of the gospel.  Perhaps this is what Paul meant when he wrote, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”

In 2 Samuel 24 we see the need to pray for wisdom concerning our nation’s leadership.  In these verses, David makes an unwise choice to conduct a census.  This arouses the anger of the Lord and leads to a plague and much loss of life.  David realizes the error of his ways and calls out to the Lord in verse 17, “I have sinned and done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done?”    This is an important principle of leadership.  Our actions as leaders affect not just our own life, but the lives of others around us as well.  

Scripture says that the “king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water.”  This means God can turn the heart of any person in authority as well as influence any party, platform, or politician at any time.  Therefore, our diligent, heartfelt prayers can and do make a difference.  

Charles Spurgeon said, “prayer is the slender nerve that moves the omnipotent muscle of God.”  And, we know that all authorities have ultimately been placed in their position by Him to accomplish His perfect will.  Therefore, what is the best thing we can do to impact the nations?  We can pray!

Rev. C. Justin Randolph

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