Prayer for Government Authorities
Two weeks ago, a shooting took place in the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. It seemed like just one more awful event until I learned a friend’s husband worked there. For several hours, he and an entire group of employees remained out of touch and on lockdown. My prayers for the situation become more fervent and more personal once I learned of his direct involvement.
Scripture commands us to pray for “kings and all who are in authority” (1 Tim. 2:2). Put in modern-day terms, we are to pray for our government officials, from the local policeman to our state senators to the President of the United States and other top officials in this and other countries. But, short of having a neighbor who’s a policeman (I do) or a relative who’s a politician (I don’t), how do we personalize this type of prayer?
My answer: keep it simple, sweetie. If we held that position, how would we want someone to pray for us? What concerns have surfaced through media channels? What needs does God’s Spirit reveal?
The next time you’re tempted to complain about those in authority, try praying for them instead. Perhaps you can start by joining me in today’s prayer:
Lord of all, we know You have no rivals. Nothing and no one compares with You. But we also know You use structure, law, and government to accomplish Your purposes. You work in and through these avenues and personalities. And just as with us, You work in spite of them, too.
Today, my Master, I lift up those in positions of government authority. From the least to the great, from the weakest to the strongest, from the minor to the mighty, all rest in Your powerful hand. We ask You to grant them wisdom and courage to make wise decisions. We ask You to help them consider not their own interests but those of the people they serve. We ask for Your truth, Your justice to prevail. We ask that, more and more, these officials, their plans and programs would lean on You.
And God, we also ask for the outworking of Your will and Your kingdom. We ask that You would turn even the bad, the unjust, the destructive to Your purposes and Your plans. We ask that You would work all things—the ones that make You smile and the ones that make You weep—into a tapestry woven of grace. We ask You to rescue the hopeless, to lift up the fallen, to cast out the evil one, to bring Your victory and peace in Your matchless way.
Lord, we also pray for the families of these who serve You by serving others. Grant them Your grace. Allow them to see the importance of their loved one’s tasks. Allow them to break only in the places You choose and to receive the healing and restoration only You can bring.
We praise You, God, because You are a great God, and a great King above all gods. Let everyone in any position of authority recognize and remember that You are Lord of all. In Your holy name I pray—AMEN.
Does a government official you know (or know of) need our prayers? Share your request in the comments below or by emailing me (see link to the right of this post). Our prayers matter in this nation and beyond.