Pray For Your Leaders

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, November 3, 2016 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next one is here.]

Election Day is Tuesday. I am quite sure most of you will be glad for it to be over, as will I. With a title of “Pray for your leaders” right before the Election, the first impression you may have could be that this will be a political post about how to pray and support whoever wins, but that’s not what I am going to write about. There is the Romans 13:1-7 passage about how to honor and respect your political leaders, because it is the position God instilled regardless of who is holding it. However, there is a bigger issue that the Christians in America the last few months have largely completely forgotten.

Where is your hope and trust found? Where is your faith located? That is a question we have been asking here with Worldview Warriors this week. A while back, I posted on my Facebook page a political rant, directing it at Christians. For much of the election cycle, my feed has been filled with political comments, most of which I agree with on that topic and some that I don’t. However, if you took all of the comments and put them together, very few gave any real hint of trusting the Lord Jesus Christ in the situation. I sense that many place their hope in their choice of candidate or the Supreme Court or the Cabinet or anything except with Christ. There is nothing wrong with being knowledgeable about the elections or making a wise decision in how you vote, or even exposing problems with politics, however is Trump or Clinton or a third party candidate the answer? I had quite a few likes on that post but the ironic thing is that a number of those who liked it were the very people I was addressing. In this season, I have said very little about the election on my social media, and in anything I have said I sought to point people to the real solution to this madness: Jesus Christ.

During the Christmas Advent season last year, my pastor gave a message about peace and the key theme he preached was that we will not have peace unless Christ is on the throne. Is Christ on the “throne” of America? Absolutely not. Is he still sovereign over the whole situation? Absolutely. But Christ’s authority is not recognized in this nation today. Why should we expect peace when the nation no longer honors and respects his command? What’s more is that America is actually turned to directly defy God, like they are daring God to do something.

But America is not the only nation to have turned on God. Rome was always a secular nation that tolerated the initial Christians but soon began to directly persecute them. Roman Emperor Nero was insane and blamed the burning of Rome on the Christians while he played the fiddle. Many of the Kings of Israel and Judah were also wicked. Few stand out more than Saul in today’s context. In 1 Samuel 8, Israel asked God for a king because they wanted to be like everyone else and did not want God to directly rule over them (sounds very familiar to today, doesn’t it?). So God gave them the king they all wanted: Saul.

Saul was head and shoulders above everyone else. He looked the part, but for most of his reign he did not act the part. But there’s one very interesting thing about Saul. The prophet Samuel loved him and constantly prayed over him until God explicitly told him to stop praying. This did not come until roughly 27 years into Saul’s reign. Samuel constantly prayed for Saul. Paul told us in Romans 13 (see above) to pray for our leaders. Nero was the Emperor, and not a godly man.

In Jeremiah 29, we see a letter to the captives to build homes, marry, plant fields, and bless their captors, because if Babylon prospered, so would the Jews. Not exactly the picture that most think of when citing Jeremiah 29:11. Joseph, Nehemiah, and Daniel were prime ministers and advisors to great kings - secular, mostly Godless kings. They honored, respected, and prayed for their kings. Even in defiance of an order, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego still respected Nebuchadnezzar. What are we doing?

It gets worse. How many of us pray and support our Godly leaders? Countless pastors reveal they need the prayers of their congregation more than we could ever imagine. If we are to be praying and supporting the godless leaders, how much more should we be supporting the Godly leaders? Where are the Aarons and Hurs who lifted up Moses’ arms when Joshua fought with Amalek? Read this by Jonathan Edwards:

"If some Christians that have been complaining of their ministers had said and acted less before men and had applied themselves with all their might to cry to God for their ministers--had, as it were, risen and stormed heaven with their humble, fervent, and incessant prayers for them--they would have been much more in the way of success." ~Jonathan Edwards, quoted in The Complete Works of E.M Bounds, page 44

We have all heard the stories of pastors who have fallen into error, both doctrinally and morally. I wonder how many of them would have fallen if their congregation had spent more time praying for them. I speak to myself as well. How often do I pray for my pastor, my administrators, and our American leaders? Honestly, I don’t do it as much as I ought.

Some may say that, “Who am I to be able to pray for our nation?” Or, “We need to keep religion out of politics.” There have been many world leaders that have feared the prayers of God’s mighty men. Queen Elizabeth is claimed to have made this proclamation: “I fear the prayers of Edmund Burke more than I fear the full might of the Spanish Armada.” I read of Rees Howells, a true prayer warrior of Wales who prayed specifically for battles throughout World War II in which victory for the allies made no sense, unless men like Howells were praying. Burke and Howells were not super special men. They were just ordinary men who learned the power of prayer, as I have been learning about but not yet fully grasped.

Too many of us have a pathetic image of what prayer can do, and yet as I read more of the testimonies of the great missionaries, their prayers were not merely for victory of tiny things that we generally pray for: help on a test, guidance for a surgeon’s hands, a peaceful day at work, etc; their prayers were nation- and world-impacting prayers. We may have wicked leaders and God may very well use this election to bring America to its due judgement for our nationwide sins. But instead of continuing the political banter I keep seeing, we need to be getting to our knees and praying that God’s will be done, even if it means judgment. Keep in mind: the US does not have a promise of restoration that Israel got in Jeremiah 29. We need to pray that God shows himself mighty in these dark times. We need to pray, pray, pray. If we want to see changes in this nation, we as the Bride of Christ need to change, to be purified. And it will mean we will need to go to battle on our knees.

Next week, I’ll address how prayer is the weapon we wield in the real battles going on in the spiritual realms.

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