Why Pray for our Leaders?
Do you ever look at world or civic government leaders and despair that things will never change?
The Bible instructs us to pray for our leaders, but do we? And if so, do we have any hope it’ll make a difference?
God can influence leaders, even those who don’t know Him. Scripture gives us some examples:
- Pharaoh Neco of Egypt brought his armies near the territory of Judah, claiming he was on a mission from God to fight another nation. King Josiah, a godly man, didn’t believe him, fought him, and died. (Read the account in 2 Chronicles 35:20-23 including verse 22, which begins “But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken.”)
- Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon saw God’s power protecting the prophet Daniel as well as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (fiery furnace) but then he got distracted by his own sense of greatness. God sent him into madness until he could realize the truth—and then brought him to his senses. (Daniel 4 tells the story.)
- King Cyrus of Babylon is mentioned in prophecy as the restorer of the Temple over 100 years in advance (Isaiah 45:13, before Jeremiah even prophesied the 70 years of exile). The Book of Ezra says God put it in Cyrus’ heart to do this, and then moved the hearts of the Babylonian citizens, and then of the exiled Israelites themselves, to support the work.
These stories encourage me to pray regularly for our leaders (as the Bible urges), and to pray with more confidence that God can and may influence them. If He doesn’t, we can trust Him to work in and through the situations, however bad they may be.
Our job is to pray. (tweetable)
For world leaders, national, local, even down to leaders in business, education and health care. Instead of getting cynical or hopeless, we can make a difference by inviting God into the mess.
If God can change the heart of a heathen king and use him for His purposes, how much more scope will He have to work in the hearts of leaders if we’re praying for them?
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Janet writes about the tenacity of God. Her novel, Heaven’s Prey, releases November 1, 2013 from Choose NOW Publishing. You can find her on her website, Janet Sketchley.