5 Ways to Pray for Your Political Leaders
Today in Canada a new Liberal Party government will be officially installed in a deeply traditional and symbolic ceremony. And in the days and years to follow this new government will seek to lead this country in the way it believes is best.
The days before the election my social media feeds were full of differing points of view on what a change in government would mean. A mix of positive and negative views on all parties and persons involved sometimes vilifying the candidates in such a way that they no longer seemed human, but a caricature of a monster in the political arena. I struggled with my own choice as to who to vote for which I wrote a bit about here. But in the end I know there were many very sincere Christians who thought that the way Canada voted was the worst possible outcome. And amazingly, my news feed is almost silent about politics once again!
But while we might not agree with who the Prime Minister is, or which party is in power, we still have a great responsibility at hand. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Timothy that we are to pray for those in authority, all political leaders, because that is what pleases God.
Amazingly enough, Paul doesn’t tell his audience to vilify leaders to inhumane standards on social media or in public conversation. Which unfortunately seems to be more common than prayer when we find ourselves in disagreement with someone in authority. For Paul to have told his initial audience to pray for their leaders was him telling them to pray for the people who don’t like them. To pray for the people who will persecute them, and won’t stop till they are all gone. Paul was even saying to pray for the people that not too many years later would kill him. We just have to pray for some people that our peers elected and we disagree on policies with, hardly seems as intense.
So how do you pray for your leaders in politics, those in authority you maybe agree, or disagree with?
Here are 5 ways I will be praying for our Prime Minister and other elected officials in the years to come.
1. Pray they act and lead with integrity and character
We all make promises in life, but most of our promises are not nearly as public as those of politicians. Each leader is elected, hopefully, based on the promises they make. While we may disagree with some of the platform they support, I think we need to hope they believe in it and stick to their promises. They may be bad decisions, they may be good ones, but the worst outcome in my view is someone who promises one thing then acts completely different. Pray our leaders act and lead with integrity. Sticking to their word and demonstrating their hope in the promises they make. Pray they hold themselves accountable to the standards they say they profess.
2. Pray for wisdom
It is not easy to lead. Whether you are trying to lead your study group at school, your family, your church or a country, leadership is difficult. Good leadership requires wisdom. Wisdom is the application of experience and knowledge to make good judgements. Wisdom is bringing together what we know and what we have experienced to pursue best possible outcomes. For some of us this comes naturally, for most of us it takes effort and time to cultivate. Pray our leaders seek to lead with wisdom for the embetterment of all people.
3. Pray for them to be compassionate
I think sometimes leaders can loose focus of why they lead. We should all lead to help others move forward. We should not be doing it for personal gain or accolades, we should lead to bring out the best in the people around us. On a large scale a political leader should be leading to bring out the best of their constituents and their country. But this means knowing the people they are to lead. This means being understanding of the peoples needs and realities. And with such a varying reality of needs in our country and world it can be easy to become jaded in helping others at times. Pray our leaders be compassionate in how they act. Seeking the best for all people, not just people like them. Or people who might vote for them next time around.
4. Pray for their families
Currently in Canada we are going to have a young Prime Minister with a young family. His family needs him more than this country does, but sometimes the demands on his time and his responsibilities might mean his family looses out. Pray for them. Pray his kids grow up knowing their dad loves them. Pray they have the moments they need to develop loving and long lasting memories. Pray that he leads his family first and out of the strength of that leadership he leads his cabinet. Pray his wife knows she is loved and appreciated. Pray that they as a family can live lives of integrity not just to look good in photos but know real love. I lead on a very small scale, but know my family sometimes suffers because of it, I can’t imagine how difficult it might be for the families of our political leaders.
5. Pray for their salvation
I’d like to think this should go without saying in the church world, but it needs to be said. Every person is made in the image of God, even the people we disagree with politically. And every person matters to God, so much so that Jesus died for their sins. Pray that they come to know this truth. Pray that they come to know the goodness of God in their life, and learn to lead out of that seeking God’s wisdom and acting out of a strength of character. When the apostle Paul tells us to pray for our leaders he says this in verses 3 and 4 “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” God wants all people to be saved, even politicians, pray they come to know this good gift from God.
Those are some of the ways I will be praying for our political leaders. How will you be praying for them? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments section.