First We Pray

(Posted October 27th 2016 @ 11:15 AM by: Melody Reever)

First We Pray

Although social media has many positives, it also provides a platform to air negative feelings on many topics—including the government and its leaders. This negativity only increases in an election year. I wonder, are we as quick to pray for our leaders as we are to criticize them?

The above verses of Scripture contain a little three-word phrase, “first of all.” First—before we check their political party. First—before we learn their stand on key issues. First—before we check their religious affiliation, if any. This doesn’t mean we endorse what they do or condone their lifestyle. It does mean we fulfill God’s admonition to pray for them and, yes, even thank God for them.

Political leaders at the time of the first-century church were extremely wicked. Nero, emperor during the ministry of Peter and Paul, murdered his mother and both his wives. He blamed the fire that consumed half of Rome on Christians. He also had Christians torn apart by dogs, crucified, and used as human torches to light the night. Would God really expect Christians to pray for such an evil man? In short, yes.

God uses even ungodly rulers in ways we may not understand. An example is found in Jeremiah 25:7-9 when He used Nebuchadrezzar to discipline the Israelites for their disobedience. Daniel 2:21 says, “He removeth kings, and setteth up kings.”  (Also read Psalm 75:7.)

God has given us authorities in our lives as a protection. Romans 13:4 calls them “God’s minister to you for good” (NKJV). Some may abuse that authority, but we still respect the position. The reason we intercede for those in authority is that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life and be able to spread the gospel.

Let me challenge you to first pray, not complain or criticize. If a mighty band of intercessors will rise up in behalf of our nation and our leaders, God has promised, “Then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chronicles 7:14).

 

How to Pray for Our Leaders

  • To set their hearts and souls to seek the Lord (I Chronicles 22:19).
  • To do what is right in God’s sight (II Chronicles 20:32).
  • To be receptive to godly counsel (Psalm 1:1).
  • To have integrity and uprightness (Psalm 25:21).
  • To be courageous to stand up for what is right (Isaiah 41:10-13).
  • To allow wisdom to enter their hearts (Proverbs 2:10).
  • To come to a saving knowledge of truth (I Timothy 2:4).

 

How to Pray for Our Nation

  • That God will bring to light the hidden things of darkness (I Corinthians 4:5).
  • That blinded minds will see the light of the gospel shine in their lives (II Corinthians 4:4).
  • That as a nation we will humble ourselves, pray, and turn from our wicked ways (II Chronicles 7:14).
  • That God will raise up intercessors (Isaiah 59:16).
  • That God will shower us with the rain of His Spirit across our land (Zechariah 10:1).

 

Other resources are available from World Network of Prayer (http://www.worldnetworkofprayer.com) and The National Day of Prayer Task Force (http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org). 

--Mary Loudermilk, Sep/Oct 2016

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