Thursday, May 7, 2009

Praying for our leaders

Today is the National Day of Prayer, a special day set aside each year to gather publicly and intercede for our nation and leaders. Our local ministerial sponsored a community prayer service this morning at the local park to honor the occasion and lift up our praises and requests to God.

Not sure how to pray for the nation? Why not begin with 1 Timothy 2:2, which says to pray "for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity."

If God guides and blesses our leaders, it will result in peaceful life where the gospel can spread more freely. John MacArthur writes on this passage, "When it manifests love and goodness to all and prays passionately for the lost, including rulers, the church may experience a certain amount of religious freedom. Persecution should only be the result of righteous living, not civil disobedience" (MacArthur Study Bible, note on 1 Timothy 2:2)

Gary Bergel shares 30 ways to pray for people in authority:

1. That they be God fearing and recognize that they
are accountable to Him for each decision and act
(Prov. 9:10).
2. That they be granted wisdom, knowledge, and
understanding (Jas. 1:5).
3. That they be presented with the gospel and a loving
Christian witness (Ro. 10:14).
4. That, if unsaved, they be drawn to a saving encounter
with Christ; if born-again, they be strengthened and
encouraged in their faith (1 Tim. 2:4, Eph. 1:17-23).
5. That they recognize their own inadequacy and pray
and seek the will of God (Prov. 3:5-8, Lk. 11:9-13).
6. That they be convicted of sin, transgression, and
iniquity (Ps. 51:17, Jn. 8:9).
7. That they heed their conscience, confess their sins,
and repent (Prov. 28:13, Jas. 4:8).
8. That they read the Bible and attend prayer meetings
and Bible studies (Ps. 119:11, Col. 3:2).
9. That they value and regard the Ten Commandments
and the teachings of Christ (Ps. 19:7-11, Jn. 8:31-32).
10. That they respect and honor their own parents if
living (Eph. 6:2-3).
11. That they respect authority and practice
accountability (Ro. 13:1-7).
12. That they be given godly counsel and God-fearing
advisors (Prov. 24:6).
13. That they be honest and faithful to spouses and
children (Mal. 2:15-16).
14. That they be practicing members of local
congregations (Heb. 10:25).
15. That they desire purity and avoid debauchery,
pornography, perversion, and drunkenness
(1 Cor. 6:9-20, Titus 2:12).
16. That they be timely, reliable, and dependable
(Mt. 21:28-31).
17. That they be honest in financial, tax, and ethical
matters (1 Cor. 6:10, 1 Tim. 6:6-10).
18. That they seek pastoral care and counsel when
needed (Heb. 13:7).
19. That they seek out and nurture godly friendships
(Ps. 1:1-3).
20. That they have thankful and teachable spirits
(Ro. 1:21).
21. That they be generous and have compassionate hearts
for the poor and needy (Ps. 112:9, Lk. 10:33-37).
22. That they redeem their time and know priorities
(Eph. 5:15-17).
23. That they desire honesty, integrity, and loyalty
(Psalm 26, Prov. 11:3).
24. That they have courage to resist manipulation,
pressure, and the fear of man (Prov. 29:25, 2. Tim. 1:7).
25. That they be shielded from occultism, New Age cults,
false religions, and secret societies (Is. 1:29, 2:6).
26. That they be presented with biblical worldviews and
principles (Eph. 3:10).
27. That they endeavor to restore the sanctity of life,
families, divine order, and morality in our nation
(Eph. 5:22-6:4).
28. That they would work to reverse the trends of
humanism in our nation (1 Chron. 12:32, Is. 59:19).
29. That they desire humility and meekness and be
willing to serve and cooperate (Jn. 13:14, Titus 3:1-2).
30. That they be prepared to give account to Almighty
God (Heb. 9:27).

(You can order copies of this, and many other helpful prayer cards, through the Navpress website.)

Let's follow God's call to pray for our nation and leaders not only this day, but every day. He alone can bring repentance and true reform in the hearts of all who need Him.

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