How Do We Pray For Leaders that Seem to Defy God
by Lynn Sheldon
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People who know me, know I have some strong opinions. Yet, I'm one of those people, if you don't agree, it's no big deal. When it comes to my faith, I believe certain ways. I stand for certain values and I love this nation. And if you don't agree...it's all right. I don't let differences become insurmountable.
Yes, unfortunately, there are those who disagree with me in many areas. I have to say it's their right to disagree and we can remain friends. That's just how I am. I love a good debate and at the end of the day, we shake hands and go on.
So, people knowing this ask me how to pray for leaders when they are corrupt or they don't seem to have our nation's best interest at heart? I tell them "Gee, that's a very difficult question for me to answer."
When I think about their question, I wonder how we are to respond. I know most Christians would say, pray for their salvation. That's fine. But salvation and leadership are two different things.
However, I do believe there are people who do not love our nation, nor do they love our God. They live by man's laws, rather than God's. They desire lawlessness and chaos, rather than peace and liberty. These people would rather see us uncomfortable and worn out, fighting for our freedoms, rather than living our lives to grow and serve the Lord and move this nation toward righteousness.
There are leaders like this in our nation. In fact, they exist in every nation. Leaders, for some reason, believe they live above the law and above the rest of us. It's as if they have all the answers and we're supposed to accept them, even though their answers are against everything we stand for as Christians and as Americans. Thus, the only thing we want out of a leader is to be trustworthy and do what's right for America and what we stand for...We're not wanting to make ourselves like China, Russia, Cuba or Venezuela. However, people will disappoint us. And that's why we are not to place our trust in people, but God.
So, how do we pray for people who want to enslave our people and maybe turn on Christians and cause them great harm in the future?
Well, I found this little prayer that David prayed. Now I'm not recommending it, nor would I suggest it. I just thought it was interesting that a man after God's heart would pray this kind of prayer:
Let me give you a little taste of Psalm 109. If you haven't read it lately David writes about some evil and wicked men who were attempting to assassinate his character. They were saying evil and wicked things about him. He reminded the Lord that he, David is a man of prayer, even though they falsely accused him. David appears to have given them the hand of friendship and they bit it off.
David writes in Psalm 109:8, "May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership." David continues, "May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children. May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation. May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out. May their sins always remain before the LORD, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth (Psa. 109:9-15).
Well if I can boil it down, David wanted God to strike his enemy dead and have his assets seized. David asked God to go to battle for him. He's asking God to be his avenger.
Maybe there are people who are that evil and we need to pray this way. I certainly could see people praying this way about Hitler, Stalin, or Mao.
But then there is my little grandson. We were talking about this nation and what we're about to go through. When he went to bed, he asked me to pray with him. I was ready to pray the kind of prayer David prayed, but that wasn't what my grandson had in mind. He began to pray for our leader's salvation. Suddenly, I felt very small before the Lord and my grandson. Now you see what it's difficult for me to answer the question. My grandson impressed me with his faith, but I just can't get David's prayer out of my mind.
Oh well, I guess I'll have to think a little longer about how God would want me to answer the question, "When leaders are seemingly against everything that is good, how do we pray?
Right now, I am leaning toward David, but thinking about my little grandson's prayer. Out of the mouth of babes....
Author: Lynn E. Sheldon
Author writes and distributes discipleship material and articles to train believers in the Word.
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Great thoughts and ideas to ponder. Definitely a tough question. Thanks for sharing!