Thanksgiving for Governing Authorities (Part 5)
by T. L Wiens
It’s easy to give thanks for God’s goodness in our lives. A bit harder to find things to give thanks for when it comes to governing authorities. At a time when our country seems to be on a slippery slope of antichrist policy, the last thing on my mind is giving thanks for the leadership of the day.
It’s hard to find a specific prayer of thanksgiving for governing authorities but we see in David’s actions towards Saul, the respect and love for an authority even when Saul wanted to kill David.
2 Samuel 1 shows an eulogy of praise for Saul from David:
“They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
David said to the young man who brought him the report, “Where are you from?”
“I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite,” he answered.
David asked him, “Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?”
Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the LORD’s anointed.’”
David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):
“A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel.
How the mighty have fallen!
“Tell it not in Gath,
proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,
lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.
“Mountains of Gilboa,
may you have neither dew nor rain,
may no showers fall on your terraced fields.
For there the shield of the mighty was despised,
the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.
“From the blood of the slain,
from the flesh of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
Saul and Jonathan—
in life they were loved and admired,
and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles,
they were stronger than lions.
“Daughters of Israel,
weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and finery,
who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold”(2 Samuel 1:12-24 NIV).
These words echo the times David bowed to Saul’s authority and accepted his position of king.
I know my attitude towards my government needs adjusting when I look at these passages.
I know my prayers for my government will change after looking at these prayer models. I need to make sure I’m making supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving for those men and women who take on the task of leading our country. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance and my obedience, prayers for authorities and governing officials can become an effective part of my prayer life.
And I also read in Colossians:
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him” (Colossians: 1:15-16 NIV).