PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1–4
Dear Brothers and Sisters
Last few months we have been in prayer for the Elections. The 2019 elections were historic, breaking the previous records as the world’s largest democratic elections with 90 Crores (900 Million) eligible voters. And over 67 % of voters exercised their right. Amazing, that God in His mercies, has preserved us as a nation to this historic milestone. And through that process, in God’s sovereign plan He has appointed leaders for our country for the next 5 years according to His will & purpose. The Bible strictly instructs us to pray for our leaders (national & local, secular & religious) and those in positions of authority which include government officials and pastors, church elders, school boards, school principals, employers, and so on. So, let us continue to pray for our leaders by name and for their responsibilities in these challenging times.
Even at the challenging times of exile, God told the people of Israel, to pray for Babylon: “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7). It’s so beautiful that while people of God prayed (like Jeremiah, the weeping prophet), God sent people like Daniel right to the palace to the very King Nebuchadnezzar. And the history of His work continues. Isn’t it amazing that God works His wonders, through His unimaginable ways? History is full of such acts of God. So, let us continue to be steadfast in prayer. “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been stablished by God.” (Rom. 13:1)
We do not pray for our leaders simply because we are commanded to do so. Praying for them will make practical sense that will impact on our families, our workplaces, our cities, our worship places and our countries. When those in authority are obeying the will of God, it is easier to “live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:2). Even at the face of persecution, when evil men are in authority, our prayers for them are just as needed, as illustrated by William Tyndale’s last words as he was being burned at the stake: “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” – a cry that became a prophetic prayer.
Also, we do not pray for our leaders merely for our own benefit. Leadership can be a tiring task. They carry a degree of responsibility to their people. They are often the targets of criticism and the go-to people in a crisis. If they are leading well, they are living their lives in service. We pray for them because we recognize the vastness of their task and because we are grateful for their willingness to lead. We should pray for all our leaders whether they are Christians or not that God will guide them as they guide us. We should pray that they be wise, discerning and surrounded by helpful advisors. We know that it is God who has placed our leaders in authority over us (Romans 13:1), and we can ask God to use them to do His will. We should also pray for their protection. We should also pray for pastors or ministry leaders, we can pray for them to have strength in the midst of spiritual warfare and to remain encouraged in the Lord. We can pray for their families, who often feel scrutinized and bear an extra load. So, let us mention our leaders by name before God in prayer and ask Him to have His way in their hearts, to support those around them, and to use their leadership to benefit the people under their care.
Let this be our prayer for our Government: “Heavenly Father, we give thanks to You for our government. We pray for all these men and women having authority over us. Pour out Your Spirit upon them and make Your Word known to them. Cause them to be men and women of integrity, obedient concerning us, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. Let wisdom enter their hearts, and let knowledge be pleasant to them. Let discretion preserve them and understanding keep them, to deliver them from the way of evil and from evil men. Make their hearts and ears attentive to godly counsel, doing what is right in your sight. Let the upright dwell in our government. Cause there to be a shaking in all areas. Let those complete and blameless before You stay, and cut off the wicked. Let the unfaithful be rooted out. Bring to light what is hidden in darkness, and expose the secret aims of the hearts. Let this nation remember from where they have fallen, repenting, and returning to doing their first works, setting their hearts and their souls to seek the Lord, humbling themselves, praying, and turning from their wicked ways. Then hear them, O Lord, and forgive their sins and heal our land. Open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light. Soften the hearts that are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Deliver them from their destructions. Father, You have been longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Raise up a standard in this nation. Cause the rains of Your Spirit to flood this land and revive Your work in the midst of us. Raise up intercessors for this nation to pull down strongholds over this land. And let the glory of the Lord be revealed!
UESI General Secretary