“It is a great privilege, as well as our responsibility, to pray for our government leaders.” — Billy Graham
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
“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 Savior.” —1 Timothy 2:1–3, NIV
- Petition means to ask. God urges us to ask, and He is pleased when we do.
- Prayer is talking to God, anywhere, anytime, in any way.
- Intercession is praying for someone else. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ constantly intercedes for us (see Romans 8:34. Hebrews 7:25), so it pleases God when we intercede for someone else—including heads of state and others in authority—because we are doing what Christ does.
- Thanksgiving always pleases God, and the Bible specifically tells us to include thanksgiving when praying for those in authority.
We are to pray respectfully for leaders. “Show proper respect to everyone, … fear God, honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:17). We are to pray with the clear understanding that government authority is established by God. “Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1). We also pray knowing that God’s Word says, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1, NASB).
WHAT TO PRAY
You can pray using words and thoughts from Scripture.
- Open the heart [name of any leader] to hear and respond to the Gospel message if he/she does not know you. Acts 16:14, Luke 24:45
- Help [name] to accept wise counsel. Proverbs 11:14; 15:22
- Teach [name] to trust in You. Psalm 21:7
- Protect [name] from the influence of the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
- Give [name] discretion, foresight, and understanding in making decisions. 1 Chronicles 22:12
- Generously answer his/her prayer for wisdom. James 1:5
- Pour out Your Spirit on his/her leadership. Proverbs 1:23
- Deliver [name] from opinions contrary to Your Word. Psalm 119:105
- Guard [name] from harm, and bless and protect his/her family. Psalm 21:11; Ezra 6:10
- Enable [name] to carry out his/her duties with humility talking to God about those in authority, toward You and toward others. 1 Peter 5:5
- Give [name] the courage to do the right thing even when urged to do the wrong thing. Proverbs 2:11–15
- Grant [name] a tender heart of compassion toward those he/she leads and serves. Colossians 3:12
WHO TO PRAY FOR
Suggestion: Each day, pick one category and pray
for one or two individuals in that category.
Cabinet members ________________________
Congressional representatives ______________
Supreme Court _________________________
Military leaders _________________________
State legislators _________________________
Police chief, sheriff ______________________