Even if they're not the ones we voted for.
But why? I remember encouraging one congregation I served to pray for our recently-elected president. Probably no one in that church's membership had voted for him. So they were a little shocked when I pressed this point home. In fact, one woman who faithfully attended every Sunday, and has one of the sweetest spirits I've ever seen in a Christian lady, came to me after the service with a distressed look on her face. I could tell something was really bothering her, but I really wasn't expecting to hear what she told me.
"I know the Bible teaches that we should pray for our president and other leaders in our country, but I just can't bring myself to pray for that man."
I was just a little stunned to hear this wonderful Christian lady say that she wouldn't pray for him even if the Bible told her to. But then I began to wonder if she was just voicing what most others were thinking: "I know the Bible says to pray for him, but I don't like him, so that's one thing I won't be doing."
A friend of mine, Greg Miller, has written, "Every time we hear or read the Bible we make a choice--we either do what it says or we don't." That's similar to what I told that lady: "It may be difficult, but if we're going to be obedient to Scripture, we have to do it."
That wonderful lady was just being honest. And if we were that honest, we would have to admit that we haven't spent very much time praying for our nation's leaders--especially those who believe differently than we do. We either do what the Bible says, or we don't--and most of the time we don't when it comes to following the commandment in 1 Timothy 2
But the way I see it, we have at least four reasons to pray for our president and other leaders. One reason is about us: if they do the right thing, our country prospers, and we benefit. The second reason is that our country has reached a time in her history when she really, really, really needs the prayers of God's people.
I'll put the third one in the form of a question. If we don't pray for them, who will?
The fourth one is a little more sobering. You see, if we keep reading in 1 Timothy 2, we discover that when we pray for our president and other leaders, God is pleased.
Yep. That's exactly what it says. Read it for yourself: "This is good, and pleases God our Savior." So it comes down to this: the Bible tells us that we are to pray for all in authority over us, because it pleases God.
You may not like them. You may detest what they stand for. But the Bible says what it says, and we can obey it or disobey it. The times demand our obedience, and our nation cries out for our prayers.
Will you join me?
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com