Pray for our Leaders
"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.
Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf,
and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings
and all who are in authority
so that we can live peaceful
and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity." - 1 Timothy 2:1-2
When writing his letter to Timothy, Paul urges his young friend to pray for all people - pray for their well-being, for their health, for their families. Then, Paul becomes more specific. He invites Timothy to pray - not only for our next door neighbor, not only for our family and friends, but for "kings and all who are in authority." Pray for the people whose responsibility is to "govern" so that all people can live peacefully.
These days, I find myself struggling to watch the news - especially cable channel news. While local news present a broader spectrum of current events, the national news lingers on the insult-laden, mocking and negative rhetoric of our current presidential politics. Rather than informing and inviting viewers to be wise and faithful citizens, they become just another outlet for negative political campaigns.
It's interesting that the apostle Paul invites Timothy to pray for those in positions of authority. During his time, emperor Nero ruled over the Roman Empire. Nero was a driving force in the persecution of Christians. He imprisoned Christians. He threw them into the lions' den. He used them as human lanterns to light the streets of Rome. Clearly, Paul invites us to pray - not because we approve or endorse any particular candidate - but because the offices of government are so important for the well-being of all.
So, let us pray for the people in office - that God would give them the wisdom and courage to rule with justice and mercy. Let's pray for those candidates we support, as well as those we don't. Let's pray for our mayors and governors, our senators and representatives, our legislators, executors, and judges. Finally, let's pray for our nation - that we would be a people whose love for God and neighbor shines brightly - especially during the darkness of this campaign season.