“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” – Romans 13:1
For Further Reading…
I’ve been around prayer circles long enough to know that many Christians are unsure of how to pray for government leaders… at least not beyond “Lord bless ’em”, “Lord touch ’em”, “Lord remove ’em!”
I recall one prayer meeting shortly after the 2013 General Elections in Barbados which saw the Democratic Labour Party remain in office. The economy was a far cry from what it had been under the previous administration and someone stood up in the church and asked the pastor to pray hard for the current government to be overthrown and for a particular former Prime Minister to take back the political reins!
It can be challenging to pray for leaders, particularly under oppression, where corruption and deceit abound. Nevertheless we must trust that in God’s sovereignty, He allows leaders to hold positions of authority for a time.
Yet, He instructs us to pray for all men (and women) who govern. The Bible gives us several instructions on how we ought to do so.
- For integrity and uprightness 1 Kin 9:4-5, Prov 28:18. Gen 20:5-6
- For wisdom in technical work / for them to be surrounded with technically gifted persons Exodus 35
- For wisdom and understanding to administer justice 1 King 3:1-15
- For God to stir their hearts (directly or by the instruction of Godly men) to act out the will of God Gen 41; Daniel 2; Esther 6:1,2; Ezra 1:1
- For them to be favorable and kind to God’s people. Neh 1; 2:1-10, 1 Tim 2:1-3
- For open doors to present the gospel to them. Acts 26:24-29
In case you are one of those holy church folk who have settled in their hearts that the entire nation is heading to hell in a hand-basket because of its heathen leaders (but “thank Jesus I am saved and heaven-bound!”), the majority of scripture references above set the record straight for you that God can bring the most powerful of unbelievers to their knees, particularly when it involves the well-being of His people.
Let us spend more time obeying biblical instruction to pray for our leaders along such lines, and less time commanding God to remove wicked leaders from high places.
It is when men refuse to respond to God and harden their hearts toward Him, that He brings them down… all by Himself.