The Need to Pray for our Leaders
Back in the last century, when CD-ROMs were still a big deal, Christianity Today reviewed a new collection of Methodism founder John Wesley’s writings.
The review noted the ease with which users could do a word search to isolate the famed English spiritual leader’s observations on a particular topic.
However, the note that sticks out in my memory was a reference to a letter Wesley had sent to a friend back home, saying that his love affair with the American people was in danger “because of their miserable leaders.”
Now, Wesley wrote those words during this nation’s Colonial days. That meant he was talking about none other than our Founding Fathers. You know, those guys who are deified by many wearing rose-colored glasses as they look at history.
My point is not to denigrate our nation. Instead, it is to point out that our country was founded by human beings, not some kind of special demi-gods or people who possessed heroic, supernatural qualities.
Indeed, years ago in reading 1776 by noted historian David McCullough, I marveled that we even won the Revolutionary War.
After all, as McCullough chronicled it, the-then loose confederation of militias featured an ill-equipped, outmanned, undisciplined fighting force. And yet we won. I see the hand of God in that triumph, as evidenced 13 years later by George Washington opening his first cabinet meeting with prayer.
Interceding for Leaders
Which brings me to the latest presidential race and the lament of millions: this is the best we can do? No matter what candidate one favors, someone else thinks he (or she) is an incompetent con artist, liar, fraudster or other nasty descriptions.
Yet what does the Bible say? In 2 Timothy 2:1-2 (NKJV), Paul wrote: “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” (emphasis added).
Given these words, it is quite possible that not enough Christians are praying for those who in authority, preferring instead to join the chorus of millions who love to grumble and complain about them.
The current invective hurled at candidates across the board reminds of something our pastor once shared about former President Bill Clinton and the impeachment woes stirred by his escapades with a White House intern.
He said one day during prayer, God told him, “If the church had spent as much time praying for President Clinton as they did complaining about him, that affair might not have happened.”
Naturally, trying to draw a cause-and-effect relationship between prayer and results is nearly impossible. So who knows how prayer might have altered that infamous episode? Still, the Bible makes it clear that we are to pray, especially for our leaders.
One such group that encourages this is the Presidential Prayer Team, which prior to Super Tuesday a few weeks ago posted photos of all the major candidates on its web site.
Not only would it be a good idea to enlist in such efforts, I think it behooves people to pray regularly about the November elections. And, all candidates who will be running—at a local and state level, as well as national.
I don’t know about you, but I would like to lead a quiet and peaceable life.