Praying for Our Leaders: A Weekly Reflection

By Patheos staff

First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.  ~ 1 Timothy 2:1

This YouTube clip was created during the last Presidential campaign, but is as timely now as then. Enjoy!

If you suddenly have a hankering for a good old-fashioned party-brawl, just start talking politics these days! Mention Sarah Palin, or President Obama, or President Bush (that's W for short), and watch tempers rise.

Our culture has become entirely polarized; it's the left and the right, so just choose your side! But the real problem is that our nation is not just divided left and right, it really is divided, according to both sides, along "right and wrong" lines.

And our civic dialogue has become increasingly vitriolic. Whether we are talking about abortion, or gay marriage, or immigration, or education, or the economy, the conversations are more like an episode of Jerry Springer than civilized discussion and debate.

I was camping a couple of weekends ago, relaxing with a book and a beer, when a neighbor started opining about President Obama's secret Muslim faith, because of course, "the President never flies with his dog. We, the taxpayers, are paying for the dog to fly in his own jet, because the President who is a Muslim, won't fly with a dog." Do you really think I could make that up?

In the midst of it all, 1 Timothy reminds us to pray for "kings, and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity." That's part of our call as Christians: to pray for our leaders. And in these trying times, regardless of whether we vote as Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Green Party, or even if we don't vote at all, we need to pray for our leaders: for President Obama, and the Congress, and the Supreme Court justices, and Sarah Palin, and President W, and we need to pray for the pope, and for the bishops, and for our local authorities, and our governors, and mayors, and our School Board members, and our pastors.

We need to pray for those who are in authority, whether or not we agree with their decisions or their politics.

Now I admit that it's always easier to pray for those we voted for in the last election, but maybe God is challenging us to learn to love in a different way, or helping us to see the good in everyone, or teaching us a lesson about leadership.

Or maybe, even if we don't like our leaders, or agree with their politics, we pray for them because they need our prayers.

Now pray . . .