This is a tough topic. Most of us don’t want to talk about it because it typically elicits a strong response from one point of view or the other. But here we go…
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.Romans 13:1
This is one of those verses we’d prefer to just shrug off and ignore. Surely Paul couldn’t know how bad things have gotten over the past years. He couldn’t possibly have meant that we should submit to elected officials from that other political party.
But the truth is, Paul was writing this letter to Christians in the epicenter of the Roman empire. The government that had murdered his Savior, was persecuting his brothers and sisters in faith, and the one that would imprison and kill him as well.
Whether we like it or not, God’s Word consistently tells us to obey the government. The only exception is if obeying the government means disobeying God.
Peter told the leaders commanding him to stop teaching in Jesus’ name.
“We must obey God rather than any human authority.”Acts 5:29
Besides submitting, God’s Word also tells us to show respect and pray for those who serve as government leaders.
But lately it feels like disrespecting leaders with whom we disagree has become our national pastime. And I’ll admit I’ve had times when it’s been easier to judge a leader than it has been to pray for them. But God didn’t command us to only pray for the ones with whom we agree or when we agree . . . He simply told us to pray.
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.1 Timothy 2:1–2
So let’s ask God for wisdom to know and obey His will, to speak the truth with gentleness and respect when appropriate, and to show respect and submit to those in authority as He commands. And let’s also ask Him to work in the hearts and minds of government leaders that they might trust and obey His will.
A Prayer for God to Work in Us and in Our Government Leaders.
Father, some people believe the government is so corrupt Christians should not be involved at all and others believe that followers of Jesus have a responsibility to get involved.
Whatever, our views . . . Your Word, clearly says that we are to submit to a nation’s laws unless those laws ask us to violate Your commands.
Today, I’m praying and asking You to give me wisdom in government affairs. I ask You to give me everything I need to trust and obey You. I ask that You will give me the courage and strength I need to always speak the truth with gentleness and respect. And I ask that You will work in our leaders . . . that You will transform the hearts and minds of our government leaders to know, trust, and obey Your truth that they might lead us in ways that honor Your commands.
Father, Your Word tells us, “if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) Please forgive us. Heal us. Guide us by Your truth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Friend, you and I are called to be good citizens of the state as representatives of Jesus.
Later in Romans 13, Paul wrote:
Give respect and honor to those who are in authority. Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.Romans 13:7b–8
May you and I focus on showing love and respect to everyone . . . our government leaders and our neighbors; and may we pray that God might forgive us, grant us wisdom, and heal our land.
On today’s note write:
May we trust God’s will and show honor and respect to everyone including our government leaders.
May God bless us and give us His peace in our nation, our neighborhood, and our home.