As we get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July, the birthday of our nation, let us remember the Bible’s admonition to pray for our leaders. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Paul wrote:
First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
Though the “authority” in our nation is meant to lie with the voters and the ballot box, we elect leaders to represent us. Therefore, we pray for our president, representatives, senators, governors, mayors, etc. This is true regardless of their political affiliation and views. As followers of Jesus, our political leaders should have our prayers.
Here are some things to pray, based on the book of Proverbs:
1. Pray our leaders would be men and women of strong moral character. Proverbs 29:2&4 state: “When the righteous flourish, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, people groan… By justice a king brings stability to a land; but a person who demands ‘contributions’ demolishes it.”
2. Pray that our leaders would show true concern for the poor, needy, and oppressed in the land. Proverbs 29:7&14 state: “The righteous person knows the rights of the poor, but the wicked one does not understand these concerns… A king who judges the poor with fairness–his throne will be established forever.”
3. Pray that our leaders would humbly desire to grow in knowledge and truth. Proverbs 28:16 & 29:12 state: “A leader who lacks understanding is very oppressive, but one who hates dishonest profit prolongs his life… If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials will be wicked.”
4. Pray that our leaders would be men and women who genuinely love and value others. Proverbs 20:28 & 29:8 state: “Loyalty and faithfulness guard a king; through loyalty he maintains his throne… Mockers inflame a city but the wise turn away anger.”
5. Finally, pray that our leaders would learn to fear (revere and respect) God, and especially that they would hear the Gospel, trust in Jesus, and follow his ways. Proverbs 1:7 states: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
All scripture quotes taken from the Christian Standard Bible.