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Lesson:  Praying for Government and the Nation  I Tim 2:1-4

Written by Lewis and Sylvia Turner, Wheatland Ministries, PO Box 697, Walkersville, Md 21793

 

 

When we pray, how often do we take time to pray for our Nation?  Oftentimes, we feel a lack of motivation to pray for our Nation until a sudden crisis occurs, such as 9-11 in New York City.  Although special events can be good reminders to pray, the best encouragement and reminder comes from opening and studying God’s Word.  The Bible urges us in I Timothy 2:1-4, to pray earnestly for all those in authority—including our leaders, our nation, and government.  These verses encourage us, giving us an expectation of peace: ‘that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty.’ (KJV).

 

Furthermore, the Bible encourages us to pray often, which is prayer “without ceasing at all times”, see I Thes 5:17.  Prayer, in general, should be a natural outflow of our relationship with Jesus.  We need to pray constantly; not only for our personal needs and concerns, but for the needs of others, too—including our nation, leaders, and all those in government over us

 

Be assured that the Lord will hear those prayers; and He will give our leaders the Wisdom they need—both to make wise decisions and to take the necessary actions to benefit us. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16b). The passage of I Timothy 2:1-4 reiterates that thought, especially in verses 2 and 3: “{prayer}…for all that are in authority…is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our Savior”(KJV).  In his loving and merciful response to our prayers, He will provide His protection for our nation, leaders, and government workers.  I believe that this is, what the Lord wanted in Ez 22:30, when God looked for someone to “stand in the gap”.  This means that, through the earnest prayers of His children, we can build a Biblical protective hedge around our leaders and nation.  If there are breaches that have occurred in that wall, they can be repaired through prayer.  In Nehemiah chapter 9, Nehemiah led those rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, to stand in the gap for the Israelites; Nehemiah fervently prayed for them and confessed their sins, as they rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.   Without that fervent prayer, the walls of Jerusalem may not have been repaired.  The same may be true for our country, today;  According to God’s Word in II Chronicles 7:14,   “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”(KJV).

 

To put things simply, God wants us to be praying for our nation, for our leaders, and all those who are involved in our government.  Before we begin to pray for our government, a word of caution should be shared here, first.  When political issues arise, we are often temped to pray specifically for answers that reflect our own personal desires—instead of praying according to God’s Word and His Will as we ought to be doingSelf-motivated prayers are often inspired by various leaders to promote their agendas.  What we should be doing, is taking time to search God’s Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to impress His Word in our hearts, so the Scriptures can guide our prayers

 

What happens when we pray for our nation, according to the Scriptures?  Scripturally-based prayers invite the presence of Jesus and His Holy Spirit into the situations where our leaders are involved.  Let’s look at a few Scriptures, to illustrate how Scriptures can help us to pray effectively:

 

  • Matthew 6:10 (KJV) As we recite the Lord’s Prayer, we pray: Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ In essence, our prayers should focus on seeking God’s Will, rather than promoting a personal agenda.

 

  • I John 5:14-15 (KJV), “And this is the boldness which we have toward Him that, if we ask anything according to His Will, He heareth us: and if we know that He heareth us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of Him.”  The key phrase is,  that we should ask “according to God’s will.” This means that when we pray in-line with the Scripture, God hears us and will grant us our requests.   

 

  • Matthew 6:12 and II Chronicles 7:14Cleansing of our hearts—ref forgiveness is a necessary step to take, when making a petition to God.   In Nehemiah’s prayer found in Nehemiah chapter 9, the people asked for forgiveness of their sins the sins of their fathers, while rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.   This confession took humility; that type of action is reinforced II Chronicles 7:14.  God consistently pleads with His people, even today, to confess our sins and the sins of our Nation; after we repent, then He will hear us and heal our land.

 

Where do we find God’s will?  It is found in the Word of God.

 

We have taken time to give the above Scriptural-examples, because so often we pray out of our self-focus, instead of seeking God’s Will and letting His desires guide our prayers:  IE, if you don’t want a particular candidate elected, you might be tempted to pray against his (or Her) electionHowever, God wants us to ask that His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  We can learn how to pray as God would have us pray by searching the Scriptures; as we examine His Word, and pray for His wisdom and understanding, we will be able to think more clearly.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, whether examining a political issue or deciding which candidate to vote for, God will give us discernment—so we can vote according to His standards of right and wrong. 

 

Some might say issues don’t always appear as black and white.  When complex situations arise and you still feel uncertain how to pray or vote in certain situations, you may need to meet with other Christians for further Biblical study and group-prayer.  Where 2 or 3 are gathered together in His Name (Matthew 18:19-20), He can bless you abundantly.  God will use other Christians to mentor and help you.

 

Furthermore, in your search of Scriptures, there are some organizations that can help you.  They will make you more aware of issues and, many times, point you to what God’s Word says about them.  You may disagree with the interpretation of issues by some groups—never-the-less, those groups may sometimes help you find critical Scriptures for you to use in praying more effectively.

 

Here is a list of a few current organizations, whose help you may want to consider; there are other good sources to help you, too; They can help you become more aware of important issues, broaden, and help clarify your thinking on certain issues.  Ultimately, though, it is important for you to examine the Scripture for yourself, using God’s Inspired Word, always as our primary resource.  The list is below:

 

 

They put out a weekly prayer update focusing on congressional actions, and related national religious liberty issues.

 

  • Daily Jotwww.Dailyjot.com written by Rev. Bill Wilson.  The purpose of the Daily Jot is to equip and encourage Christians to evangelize and to better understand issues with out taking political sides.  .  Rev. Bill Wilson shows how current events may relate to Biblical Prophecy from a Biblical standpoint.

 

  • There is a fourth group called Capitol Hill Prayer Partners:

They have a blog at www.chpponline.blogspot.com.  It is an excellent resource to use in encouraging prayer for government and current issues which face our Congress.  In their presentation of issues, they give a prayer for consideration and Scripture to support their prayers.

 

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
"Partners in Prayer for Our Nation"
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970
chpp@patriot.net

 

The groups listed above may be helpful in pointing you to the Scriptures which relate to many issues facing our nation.  Remember, it is important to study the Scriptures, examining God’s Word as the people of Berea did, in the Bible.  See Act 17:10-11.  As you read and study God’s Word, ask the Lord for Wisdom (James 1:5) on how to pray for our government.  

 

In praying for our government,  the principle of taking time to study God’s Word and to observe what the Scriptures say about today’s political issues, is vital in praying effectively  for our government.

 

Here are some additional thoughts:

  • As you pray for our Government, take the opportunity to pray for specific people.  Don’t let your feelings get in the way of praying for them.  You may have major disagreements with their views and focus, but the Bible does say to pray for them. See: I Timothy 2:1-4.   As an encouraging thought while you pray for these leaders, remember, it is God who turns the hearts of Kings. Prov 21:1. 

 

  • As you pray for leaders, pray also, for those who advise and influence our President and other key leaders.  I have personally known a few people who, respectively, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the power of prayer; these are Christians who are committed to praying for our leaders.  Are you willing to take that challenge? 

 

  • One more important area of prayer, concerning how we pray for our government: pray for ALL government workers not just the leaders. Government workers affect how laws are carried out, and they recommend regulations and laws that affect us all.

 

Many of us may not fully recognize that we are in a Spiritual Battle for the protection of the heart of our nation; but the fact is, we are in a real Spiritual Battle, and evil forces will use any means to block our prayer from being prayed and answered.  Joining and praying together, according to the Word of God, is so important today, in order to win that battle.  The principle found in Matthew 18:19-20 of praying together, is a powerful encouragement for us.  Our nation’s future is truly in the hands of those who pray.

 

Recapping, as you pray for the Government,

  • Seek God’s Wisdom. James 1:5 says “But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” 
  • Commit to joining in prayer with others, who will commit themselves to pray for our government;
  • And commit to praying regularly, for the Government.  Praying-together with others will encourage you, and it will make a major difference in our country.

Prayer—bits: 

Consider the thought below which I have seen on a wood plaque: 

More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.

 

There is also a second “thought”  to consider: I heard from a personal and dear friend to me, Rev. Richard Dyson, a man of prayer, who frequently shares these words about prayer:

“little prayer,

little power;

Much prayer,

Much power.

A Closing challenge:

As Christians, Praying for our Government should be always in the forefront for us, and by us in our daily personal devotions as we pray and study God’s Word; Also, as we join together, regularly praying with others, according to God’s Word; and standing in the Gap for those who govern and make the laws for our country—confessing the sins; then we will see God work on our behalf, for the good of our Nation. (see II Chronicles 7: 14)

 

Psalms 33:12

Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord

 

Reflection questions:

1.  How is prayer important to bringing peaceful living to us?     What kind of peace is God talking about in I Timothy 2:1-4?

 

 

2.   We are tempted to pray against a candidate whom we do not like, so he will not get elected.  Take a few moments and consider what type of prayer might this be?  Is it really praying according to the will of God? 

 

 

3.  If you have prayed for your government and have seen God working, please share your Biblically-based insights and discoveries with us.

 

 

4.  How can an approach like that of the Bereans in Acts 17:10-11. be an example to us in examining critical issues facing our nation?

 

 

5.  If you have used Christian Resources to help you with issues, how have these groups helped you?  Did they help you to pray more Biblically for our Nation? How?

 

©August 2012 Lewis Turner

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Thank you for all this very helpful information on praying, Lewis.  

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