In II Timothy 2:1-2, Paul gives Timothy the following exhortation – “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence”.
Did you notice he singled out a particular group? “Kings and all who are in authority.” In other words, pray for your leaders.
Praying for your leaders or soon-to-be-elected leaders is easy to forget, especially when you don’t agree with them or they persecute you. They are easy to not pray for when they pass laws or write opinions you disagree with. It is difficult to give thanks for your leaders and those God puts in authority over you. but that doesn’t give us an excuse to not remember them.
So how should we pray for them? Paul tells us to pray for their salvation (I Tim 2:3-5), but I believe Psalm 20 also gives us a list of number of petitions to make on their behalf.
Here is a prayer list you can take with you for the rest of the election year, and it is directed primarily to our future President.
- Pray that our future President will turn to God first in all things – “May the LORD answer you [the king] in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you” (Ps 20:1).
- Pray that God will enjoy giving the future President aid and wisdom when he/she asks for it – “May He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion. … Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call” (Ps 20:2, 9).
- Pray that our future President be committed to giving God the glory and find tangible ways to express that thanksgiving – “May He remember (or “give regard to”) all your offerings, and accept your burnt sacrifice. … We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions” (Ps 20:3, 5).
- Pray that our future President’s agenda will be God’s agenda – “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose. … Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand” (Ps 20:4, 6).
- Pray that our future President shows appreciation to our military, but doesn’t trust in them as His ultimate security – “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They have bowed down and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright” (Ps 20:7-8).
Our leaders are worthy of our prayers. God Himself has placed them in positions of leadership. Paul tells us: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Rom 13:1). God places ungodly and godly men over us and we are to pray for them both.