“… 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.” I Timothy 2: 1-2 CSB

It is so easy to use our mouths to tell anyone within hearing what we dislike about our governments, however, we would all “lead more tranquil and quiet lives” if we were to lift our voices in prayer, intercessions and thanksgiving for government instead of grumbling and complaining.

First of all, we should be glad for those who lead a community, a county, a state or a nation. It’s a tough job – one that I have never felt like I would enjoy. There are big pictures to paint as well as small details to consider. The diversity of the population to whom any governmental authority is in service is beyond description. When making a decision, a leader has to try to consider what is best for everyone as well as for the most. The minority can’t be ignored while the majority should logically hold greater sway. I am thankful for those who step up to take on the challenge.

Second of all, these leaders need help. They need to hear from a variety of voices who truly represent the “diversity” within the community/state/nation as a whole. They need these voices to share peacefully (and not loudly and rudely) so that they may better understand all sides.

Having heard all sides, the leader now has a new challenge. Does the representative vote as the majority of his constituency would like? Does she vote her conscience or does he vote as he is led by God? If we are praying for our leaders, God’s best plan should rise above all else, and since it is the “best” plan, it should be the one we all want.

Third, to intercede for a leader is to stand before God on behalf of a leader. Perhaps the leader has made some terrific error. We should go to God on that leader’s behalf – especially if he/she was a good leader except for this error. Leaders flub up! We shouldn’t desert someone for being human.

Fourth, we go back to the first and we thank God for our leaders. We thank God for the sleepless nights they spend in prayer and for the sacrifices they make to serve us well. We thank God that they raise up their voices for what is right and strive to know and do right. We ask God to show them right and to give them courage to do it.

If someone is leading in a way that is contrary to righteousness and moral integrity, we should pray for that leader to become convicted of her wrong-doing. We should pray that this leader will be granted eyes to see and ears to hear what is going on with his constituency. We can pray for wisdom for all of our leaders so that they can faithfully dispense government in a manner that leads to peace for everyone.

If after all of these prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, our leader continues to behave in ways contrary to God, we can pray for God to give us a leader of righteousness and integrity. Actually, if we pray for a leader of righteousness and integrity, we may see God turn the present leader in just this path. This should always be our preference – to have the present leader be the kind of leader we hoped for when we voted.

We should pray for all leaders, not only the ones we voted for but also the ones we didn’t. We should ask God to bless them in their leadership tasks and for Him to lead them as they lead us.

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