Last week on Friday, God placed our president on my heart. It was a quickening in my spirit that I rarely feel. After dinner, our family gathered and we prayed for him, his cabinet and those advising him. I cannot imagine the pressure he and his team are feeling right now. What to do about the pandemic, in light of our nation’s health, coupled with the faltering economy, is weighing heavily upon his mind.
A nation is guided by the leadership who governs. Either for good or for ill. President Trump is about to make the biggest decision of his life.
We can shape the destiny of our nation through prayer. This is why Paul advised Timothy, “First of all that…prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made…for kings and all who are in authority.” (1 Timothy 2:1, 2). He said that the “first” thing in the Church is to pray for our nation’s leaders! Under our current crisis, I have taken this to a new level of importance.
What kind of outcome should be the focus of our prayers? It’s interesting, that in our passage above, Paul answers our question by continuing, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desire all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3, 4). In other words, we are praying for a peaceful life where we can freely worship and freely share our faith with others. The Bible is explaining that the nation we should desire allows for freedom of commerce, freedom to be happy and freedom to worship. Sound familiar?
What are God’s main requirements for a leader who governs? The answer to this question, was given by the Holy Spirit, through the lips of David in 2 Samuel 23:3: “The Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.’” Two simple requirements: he must be just and fear God. That’s our prayer. We should be praying for leaders who are full of justice in their decision making and God-fearing in their life.
God promises blessing on nations whose leaders are just and God-fearing. God desires our nation be a place where all people have the opportunity to get saved. God desires our nation to be a place where we can live a peaceful and joyful life. When we pray this way, God will move in power. Let’s take seriously, more than ever before, the command to pray for our nation and her leaders.
Praying and believing,
Steve Holt M.A., D.D.