As we approach the 2022 midterm elections and hot-button issues occupy our hearts and minds, it’s important for believers to remember our biblical duty to intercede for government leaders — whether we see eye to eye with them or not.
Regardless of whether those in authority are Christians or we agree with their views, when we commit to pray for our leaders in government, God is pleased with our obedience. He will work in their hearts according to His will. When we pray for our city, state and national leaders, we take part in advancing God’s kingdom on this earth.
Let us strive to remember the following four fundamental principles as we pray:
1. We are commanded to pray for our leaders
The Bible makes it clear that Christians are called to pray for those in authority over them. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Paul urges that “petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
Praying for our leaders can have an impact on every aspect of our lives — our families, our churches, our businesses, our schools and our laws. Praying for our leaders releases God’s power and it pleases God.
2. The Lord Almighty is the Creator of all things, including government
All people in authority have been allowed to be placed there by God. Romans 13:1 reminds us that we are “subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
We can be at peace despite seemingly selfish, evil and non-believing leaders when we trust that our Lord is in control of everything. God is sovereign — He is the ultimate authority. Romans 8:28 encourages us that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.” There’s so much that God does behind the scenes of our lives that we can’t always comprehend. But one thing is for certain according to Scripture — God always works in accordance with His will, for His purposes, and for His glory.
3. The Church must lead in reflecting God’s values in our nation
We are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13) and have a responsibility to lead our nation in pursuing godly government at every level. As we pray for America, we must pray into biblical values. As we listen to the news and consider the key issues of today, with each emerging concern, we must seek God’s intervention and guidance for our leaders.
The Word of God should frame the worldview of every believer. It’s intended to be the lens through which we look at everything in life, including our political perspectives, our voting habits and most of all, how we pray for those in governmental authority. If you agree with the positions of your leaders, pray they will fight to uphold the legislation that aligns with the Word of God. If your leaders do not share your Christian faith, pray for their eyes to be opened and for any harmful legislation they propose not to pass.God’s Word should always have the last word on any issue we face as a nation.
4. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood
It’s important to remember that there’s a spiritual battle going on that is beyond the control of our leaders in government. We're fighting a spiritual war with an enemy whose primary tactic is deception. Ephesians 6:12 informs us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Remember that all people in power have been allowed to be placed there by God. He has worked His will through some terrible and evil rulers in the past and He’s not surprised by anything. Even better, we know that if God is for us, no one can stand against us (Romans 8:31).
Our government leaders need us to pray for them with diligence. The simple act of praying for those in authority can help them step into God’s will for their lives. You may even find that once you commit to praying for those leaders whose views or attitudes are different than your own, your heart toward them softens. Regardless of where we stand politically, or whether we see eye to eye with how those in authority are leading, we should ask God to help us respect and pray for them according to His perfect will and purpose.
David Kubal is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Intercessors for America, a 501(c)(3) ministry organization dedicated to seeing God’s purposes for America fulfilled through sustained prayer and Spirit-led obedience.