First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 1 Timothy 2:1–2
We often malign our political leaders. We believe our leaders to be corrupt, out of touch with the needs of real people, and willing to say and do whatever will win them approval for the next election. We are cynical about our leaders, because we know how often political power is abused. Frankly, there are plenty of times when we just flat out disagree with a perspective or a stance that one of our leaders has or takes. We have few qualms about blaming our president or Congress for inaction and division, or claiming that our courts are either intensely biased or engaging in reckless political activism. We freely voice our disagreement and our dissention and assume that our freedom to speak up and out is our most foundational, God-given right.
But Christians are supposed to use our freedom and our speech to offer petitions and prayers on behalf of those who have power and position over us. Like them or not, we are supposed to pray for those members of our society who hold office. And our prayers aren’t just for political will to turn in our direction—our prayers are supposed to be for the benefit and blessing of those who have charge over us. We can disagree with our leaders, but we must never fail to pray for them and for their well-being.
Do you criticize politicians more than you pray for them?
Lord, I am not particularly careful with my critique and criticism of the people who hold positions of leadership. I can view them to be problematic and downright pathetic at times. But who am I to judge? How would my life and my choices hold up under intense public scrutiny? Not well, I suspect. So, Lord, I pray now for those who hold office and try to serve the public good. Bless them, be gracious to them, and help them to tend faithfully to those they lead. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.