Praying for Our Government

When you pray, you leverage the very power of Heaven. On your knees in prayer you can assist missionaries in the most remote corners of the world. You can dispatch help to prisoners behind bars, invoke peace in troubled neighborhoods, and seed the clouds over arid lands. And because there is no barrier of time or space with God, He sometimes answers such prayers even before we learn that there is a need to pray. That is why Isaiah 65:24 says, “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

Just as Moses stretched his rod over Egypt on God’s behalf, so the church in prayer stretches for Christ’s authority over the nations and their rulers. In fact, though most Christians rarely pray for civil government, that is our first call to prayer:

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

We are to pray for civil rulers, Paul says, “that we can live peaceful and quiet lives.” What exactly does that mean? One commentator only half humorously says it means that we should pray for them to leave us alone! In fact, the connection between good civil government and the freedom to preach the Gospel is obvious, as the First Amendment to America’s Constitution demonstrates. No wonder a man like Paul, consumed with spreading the Good News, would make praying for civil government a top priority for the Church.

Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” If we do not call to Him, those great and mighty things will never occur. God wants us to ask Him, to consult and cooperate with Him in carrying out His will in the earth.