Some prayers are easier than others. It’s easy to pray with thanksgiving, thanking God for things He as provided. It’s even easy to pray in times of need for ourselves or our loved one. This is perhaps the easiest prayer for you are in need. They say there are not atheists in a foxhole. Even in the midst of tears and pain, those prayers are easy to make.
However, there are other prayers that God calls us to make that are more difficult. The most obvious one is when Jesus says in Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Of course in the midst of a battle, this may be difficult, but even praying for enemies (depending on the kind of enemies) can still be accomplished with out too much stress. If your ‘enemy’ is someone at work, you can pray they get a new job that is better for them. If your ‘enemy’ is a neighbor, you can pray that the issue between you finds resolution. I have personally made these kind of prayers about my ‘enemies’. And of course we can always pray that they come to know and accept the Lord Jesus as their savior.
But Timothy calls us to pray for our leaders. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:1-6
When I started think about this statement, I found myself convicted. When we had a leader I could believe in, one I knew was himself praying to Jesus every single day… I found it easy to pray for him and our other leaders. My wife and I even became part of the Presidential Prayer Team (Seal shown below).
However, I have to admit that with the current administration, I have found it extremely difficult to pray for our leaders. But when I read the statement from Timothy and thought of the types of leaders they had (that he was calling believers to pray for), I realized that we’re no where close to that. Their leaders weren’t just limiting their free speech or creating laws they disagreed with. Their leaders were actively seeking to kill believers. Imagine living as a Christian today in a country like Iran. Here is a country that will execute someone simply for believing in Jesus (much like the times Timothy lived in). Could you pray for those leaders? Timothy is calling us to do exactly that.
Putting things into that perspective has really convicted me to pray for our current leaders (despite the appearance they have no desire to follow our Lord). So here goes…
Lord, Timothy has convicted my heart that we are to pray for our leaders, despite their view or feelings towards you. We are to pray for them no matter what, since so much rides on their shoulders whether we like it or not. Lord, I lift up President Barack Obama to you. I know you allow free will but you can also work through the will of others to complete your larger plan. I pray that the faith he claims to have would take a stronger hold in his value decisions. That serving You would become more important that his own position of power. Lord, give him the wisdom he needs to make decisions for what is right and just and not just what is politically expedient. Convict his heart that he would confess to you and wish to repent. Shield his heart from the draw of power and help him to better man.