Pray for the Government

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Prayer is an act of faith.

It is a communal act, and it is a subversive act. Therefore praying for the Government is not the same thing as mindlessly accepting everything about the government. Far from it; it means being engaged by faith, as a community of faith; and it means being ready to speak prophetically into the public square in a way that looks more like Christ – than like a petulant child, or as an anarchistic rebel. Nonetheless, we are rebels of a sort – but we rebel with an understanding of the spiritual realm.  There is no getting away from it: this takes faith.

The Apostle Paul writes:

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, {2} for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. {3} This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, {4} who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.(1 Timothy 2:1-4 NRSV)

“Supplication” indicates an earnest heartfelt prayer for God’s extra-ordinary authority to be used in a particular matter. It is asking for an extraordinary move of God. Something “outside the normal channels”. It is “special pleading”. This may include asking God to send a revival, stop the passage of ungodly legislation, protection from invasion or war, or to act in a mighty way for the good of His gospel. (Content for this post modified from “Women of Vision“).

Consider then, this ancient prayer of Psalm 72:

{1}Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son. {2}May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. (Pray that the government will be just and that it will be given discernment of right and wrong that comes from God; pray for a sense of social justice for the poor).

· {3} May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness. (Pray that the government may have a prosperity that far reaches “the people,” not just the leadership).

· {4} May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor. (Pray that the government defends the just cause of the needy. Pray that it has the moral fortitude to crush the oppressor and stand up to the powerful who are wicked. Pray that it will support programs that bring deliverance to the needy).

· {5} May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. (Pray for the personal health and prosperity of those in government).

· {6} May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth. (Pray that the government is refreshing to the people and a source of goodness, blessing and growth).

· {7} In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more. (Pray for enduring peace and a flourishing stability).

· {8} May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. {9} May his foes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust. {10} May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Sheba bring gifts. {11} May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service. (Pray that it may be a powerful and well-honored government because it has served God well. Pray that it may not be humiliated by powerful nations but instead may be honored by all).

· {12} For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper. {13} He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. {14} From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight. (Pray that the government may consider every human life to be precious and have the needy “on their agenda.” Pray that it may be the helper of the helpless. That the government may consider itself a servant of the needs of the people and despise no-one).

· {15} Long may he live! May gold of Sheba be given to him. May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all day long. (Pray for the spiritual protection and blessing of the government – that “prayer may be made for him continually”. Pray for the personal salvation and continuing sanctification of those in power. Pray for their protection from the snares of greed, sexual temptation and pride).

· {16} May there be abundance of grain in the land; may it wave on the tops of the mountains; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field. (Pray for an abundance of basic necessities and food. For people to “blossom” and grow, for the nation to experience God’s “shalom” – blessedness and prosperity).

· {17} May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun. May all nations be blessed in him; may they pronounce him happy. (Pray for a good international reputation because it blesses the nations).

· {18} Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. {19} Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen. {20} The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended. Praise God who alone does wondrous things for the transformation that He can work in your nation. (Pray on the basis of God’s glory being enhanced through godly governments. Claim the promise that His glory will fill the earth and this includes our nation and every province and city within it).

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About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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2 Responses to Pray for the Government

  1. Pingback: Political but not Partisan (Part II): Faith in the Public Square | More Enigma Than Dogma

  2. Pingback: Political but not Partisan (Part III): Personal but not Private | More Enigma Than Dogma

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