Politics and cultural chaos can breed a lot of division, but no matter where you stand, there's an important and convicting reality: We're all called to pray for those in authority.
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The Bible doesn't tell us to only pray for leaders with whom we agree; instead, scripture calls us to pray for everyone who is in authority. This can be a tall order, but an important one. Here's what I wrote about this topic during the 2016 election season — and our call to pray for those in authority obviously still matters today:
The Bible is clear; Christians are meant to seek God’s guidance for our leaders and those in authority. Yet, many of us are so consumed with fear, frustration, or even apathy that we’ve forsaken these instructions.
So, as we consider how to pray for leaders and pray for our president — no matter who that person is — let's explore a potential prayer you can say:
Lord, I pray for our country and I pray for those in authority. Please guide our senators and representatives — our local, state and national leaders. Lord, I pray for leaders to have Your wisdom in all matters. I pray for our president to have discernment, to have the energy to do this difficult job and to be a person who seeks Your will, not only in his life, but in national matters. God, please heal our land from the chaos and division, and please help every leader to seek Your face. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
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Now, let's explore some of the Bible verses about praying for leaders that will help is remember to pray for all politicians and candidates — prayers for wisdom and guidance (plus, you can download our Bible Verse Devotional for more spiritual guidance):
1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV): Pray For Those in Authority
"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."
1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV) offers a pointed proclamation about the importance of praying for leaders. Paul specifically says that we should pray "for kings and all those in authority" and that we should live godly lives.
Notice, again, that it doesn't say to pray for those in authority with whom we agree. Thus, it's important to offer prayers for all leaders and prospective leaders.
Psalm 22:28 (NIV): Pray for Leaders to Seek God's Will
"For dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations."
As we consider Bible verses about praying for leaders, let's also remember why this is important: We all need wisdom, including our leaders. Plus, God — the giver of that wisdom — is ruler over all. Let's keep Psalm 22:28 in mind as we consider these issues.
Proverbs 28:2 (NIV): Pray for Our President
"When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order."
The Bible makes it clear that wisdom is something we must all seek. Considering the pressures that come with leadership, we'd be smart, compassionate and acting within our faith to pray for wisdom for our leaders and prospective leaders — and to pray for our president daily. Proverbs 28:2 reminds us to remember the value of discernment as we pray for those in authority.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV): The Real Battle
As we pray for leaders, Ephesians 6:12 offers a reminder about where the real battle unfolds – and it's spiritual. It's easy to get consumed by politics and to be enveloped into an "us vs. them" scenario, but this scripture offers us some powerful realities to ponder. As we reflect on Bible verses about praying for leaders, remember that it's not a battle of flesh and blood, but one that is spiritually rooted.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
We hope these Bible verses about praying for leaders and praying for our president deeply inspired you! For more scriptural inspiration in your life, consider downloading our 5-Day Bible Verse Devotional.