Not My President? Praying for ALL in Authority

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“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made . . . for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”

1 Timothy 2:1-3

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What I’m about to say is not a political statement, it is a spiritual point.

In my lifetime I’ve heard American Christians make negative, snide remarks about praying for nearly every President that’s led our nation. And I suspect this might be true of other countries and their leaders as well. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, some of the same ones who couldn’t bring themselves to pray in a positive way for one leader are angered that someone would feel the same about the leader they support.

A few thoughts from this Scripture.

– If we fail to pray for ALL in authority we aren’t obeying this command.

– If we pray, but only pray selective, negative points of prayer, we have missed that this prayer is FOR them to contribute to our quiet, peaceable, godly, and honest life.

– If we can’t pray for those in authority without immediately feeling compelled to document all their flaws, complain about all the ways we don’t like them, or list all the “unanswered” parts of our prayer, it may be that our prayers lack sincerity.

– If we think someone is undeserving of this command because of their flaws/views/sins we might have forgotten that this command was given under the Roman empire.

– And, if we observe another believer obeying this command and feel the need to express condemnation or disappointment that they’ve done so we’ve missed the idea that this is a command and should examine our own heart.

I suggest that there are Biblical, positive, grace-seeking prayers to be prayed for any of our leaders regardless of the letter after their name, their conduct, their ideology, or our personal opinion of them.

If praying for the Emperor Nero was good in the sight of God, praying for a President, whether his name is Obama or Trump or Biden is good in the sight of God.

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