Praying for our government leaders

When we look beyond the picnics, parades, and fireworks that characterize our Independence Day celebrations, we remember that the holiday commemorates our nation’s birth.

praying for our government leaders

This commemoration serves as a reminder to me to pray for our government leaders. This is a wise thing to do because the God we serve is all-powerful and nothing happens outside of His control. Moreover, the Bible instructs us to pray for those in high positions (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

It’s often easy to pray about one or two political issues that really matter to me. There is nothing wrong with this per se, but I always have to be careful not to confuse my personal opinions with Scriptural principles and God’s will. I’d like to think that my opinions always line up with Scripture, but I’m a fallen human being, so this isn’t always the case. I know that you’re fallen, too, so let’s all be careful to avoid praying self-motivated prayers. Let’s search Scripture and pray, allowing the Holy Spirit to impress God’s will upon us.

When we look beyond specific issues, it becomes evident that there are a number of general things we can pray for our leaders at the national, state, and local levels.

Pray they will have wisdom

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Proverbs 3:13-17

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17

Pray they will have integrity

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.” Proverbs 12:22

“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” Proverbs 21:3

“A just balance and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are his work.” Proverbs 16:11

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…” Colossians 3:23

Pray they will not be self-seeking

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5

Pray they will have wise advisers

“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers…” Psalm 1:1

Pray they will be safe

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.” Psalm 91:1-6

Pray they will have faith in God

“This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:3-4

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

Do you pray for our government leaders? How do you stay motivated to do this? What things do you pray for them?

Shared on the following link-ups:

Word Filled Wednesday, Essential Fridays, WholeHearted Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday & Monday’s Musings.

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Father, I’m praying for (name them) and other government and community leaders throughout our towns, cities, states, and nation… Save those who are not yet Your own. Give those in authority wisdom in every decision, and help them to think clearly. Grant them discernment and common sense so they’ll be strong and effective leaders. (Titus 3:5; James 1:5; Proverbs 3:21)

Help them to lead and govern with integrity, and may their integrity guide them and keep them on track. (1 Kings 9:4; Proverbs 11:3a; Psalm 78:72; 1 Timothy 2:1–4)

Be merciful to give us leaders who are Spirit-filled and follow Your principles. Direct their steps according to Your Word— for their decisions have a great impact on our lives! (Ephesians 5:18b; Psalm 119:105, 133a)

Be their defender and protector, and keep them always on guard. Help those who are Christians to be strong and courageous, standing firm in their faith and influencing others for Your kingdom. Encourage and strengthen them, giving them the wisdom they need. Help them to have courage and faith in You, no matter what they’re facing day-to-day. (Proverbs 23:11; Psalm 41:2a; 1 Corinthians 16:13; Deuteronomy 1:38; 3:28; 2 Chronicles 1:10a; Acts 27:22, 25)

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Jan 21st 17 Posted by Natalie Nichols in Believing God, Christian Living Praying for Government Leaders (Part 2): A Prayer Guide

praying for our government leaders

As believers, we’re instructed to pray for “kings and all those in authority” (1 Timothy 2:2). It is our duty and responsibility to pray for our government leaders.

Part One of this post included a prayer for the president of the United States and his cabinet. These prayer points and scripture references can serve as a guide as you pray for all government leaders—from your local leaders to the state and federal level.

Instructions for Us as We Pray

We are to pray for our leaders and all who are 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. This is good, and pleases God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3, NIV).

We are to pray respectfully for our leaders.

“Honor all people. … Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17, NKJV).

We are to pray with the clear understanding that government authority is established by God.

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1, NKJV).

We are to pray knowing that God’s Word says:

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1, NKJV). (

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Praying for Your Leader by Name

Too often we don’t pray for our leaders in government because:

  1. We don’t know what to pray.
  2. We feel we over generalize in the request itself, and also when referencing the target of the prayer (e.g. “God bless my leaders”).
  3. We feel it’s hopeless to pray—our leaders will remain corrupt, deceitful, or immoral.

The bulleted list below counters each of these hindrances to prayer.

  1. It includes specific requests you can make in prayer.
  2. It also includes the scriptural basis for the requests, reminding you it’s not hopeless to pray such; it’s God’s will!
  3. It also has a place for you to insert your leader’s name. (A quick google search should give you the names of your local, state and federal leaders.)

This is an abbreviated, summary version. The same prayer points are below, with the full text of the scripture references.

Insert the name of your local, state, and federal leader in the prayer guide below.

  • Open the heart of  to hear and respond to the Gospel message if they do not know you. — Acts 16:14
  • Help know that his/her office was granted to him/her by God. — Daniel 2:19-22
  • Help  to accept wise counsel. — Proverbs 11:14; 15:22
  • Teach  to trust in You. — Psalm 21:7
  • Protect  from the influence of the evil one. — 2 Thessalonians 3:3
  • Pray that will find wisdom and direction in God’s word. — Proverbs 21:1
  • Deliver from opinions contrary to Your Word. — Psalm 119:105
  • Give discretion, foresight, and understanding in making decisions. — 1 Chronicles 22:12
  • Enable to make decisions according to God’s truth. — Proverbs 2:10-11
  • Protect from harm, and bless and protect his/her family. — Psalm 21:11; Ezra 6:10
  • Enable to carry out his/her duties with humility toward You and toward others. — 1 Peter 5:5
  • Give the courage to do the right thing even when urged to do the wrong thing. — Proverbs 2:11–15
  • Give a tender heart of compassion toward those he/she leads and serves. — Colossians 3:12

Prayer Points with Full Scripture References

Open the heart of  to hear and respond to the Gospel message if they do not know you.

“Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14).

Help know that his/her office was granted to him/her by God.

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons;

He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise

And knowledge to those who have understanding.
He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2:20-22. NKJV) (Tweet this)

Help  to accept wise counsel.

“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14, NKJV. See also Proverbs 15:22) (Tweet this)

Teach  to trust in You.

“For the king trusts in the Lord, And through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved” (Psalm 21:7, NKJV).

Protect  from the influence of the evil one. 

“But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3, NKJV). (Tweet this)

Pray that will find wisdom and direction in God’s word.

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1, NKJV).

Deliver from opinions contrary to Your Word. 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105, NKJV). (Tweet this)

Give discretion, foresight, and understanding in making decisions.

“Above all, may the Lord give you insight and understanding when He puts you in charge of Israel so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God” (1 Chronicles 22:12, HCSB). (Tweet this)

Enable to make decisions according to God’s truth. 

“For wisdom will enter your mind, and knowledge will delight your heart.
Discretion will watch over you, and understanding will guard you” (Proverbs 2:10-11).

Protect from harm, and bless and protect his/her family.

“Though they intend to harm you and devise a wicked plan, they will not prevail” (Psalm 21:11, HCSB).

“That they may offer sacrifices of sweet aroma to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and his sons” (Ezra 6:10, NKJV).

Enable to carry out his/her duties with humility toward You and toward others.

 “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5).

Give the courage to do the right thing even when urged to do the wrong thing.

“Discretion will watch over you,
and understanding will guard you,
12 rescuing you from the way of evil—
from the one who says perverse things,
13 from those who abandon the right paths
to walk in ways of darkness,
14 from those who enjoy doing evil
and celebrate perversion,
15 whose paths are crooked,
and whose ways are devious” (Proverbs 2:11–15, HCSB)

Give a tender heart of compassion toward those he/she leads and serves.

“Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12, HCSB).

Tweetables

  • A prayer guide as you #pray for your government leaders. One-sentence requests, with scripture basis for each. > Tweet
  • I urge that prayers … be made … for kings and all those who are in authority. ~ 1 Tim.2:1-2 > Tweet
  • The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. ~ Proverbs 21:1 >> Tweet
  • Wisdom & might are … He removes kings & raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise. ~ Daniel 2:20-21 > Tweet
  • Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. ~ Proverbs 11:14 > Tweet
  • But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you & guard you from the evil one. ~ 2 Thess 3:3 > Tweet
  • Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ~ Psalm 119:105 > Tweet
  • May the Lord give you insight & understanding when He puts you in charge… ~ 1 Chronicles 22:12 #PrayerforLeaders > Tweet

  Questions: 

  • Do you pray regularly for your government leaders, as we’re exhorted to do? 
  • How is your confidence as you pray for those in your government? Are you despondent, having concluded that your government leaders will always be corrupt, deceptive, full of pride, or immoral? 
  • Do these prayer points and scripture references encourage you to pray in different ways than you’ve been praying? If so, in what ways? 

OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES

  • Praying for Government Leaders (Part 1): A Prayer for the President
  • Praying for Government Leaders (3): A Guide to Praying for Your Country
  • President Lincoln’s Proclamations for Fasting and Prayer

RELATED ARTICLES

  • Fasting Day 15: For the Nation
  • Fasting Day 14: Praying for our Government
  • Fasting Day 14: Fasting Affects a Nation
  • Fasting Day 7: Where is the Glory?
  • Interceding for America: Two Points in Prayer
  • National Revival: It Comes Down to You and Me
  • America’s Only Hope: Why Aren’t We Utilizing It?
  • America’s Founders & Presidents: Proclamations for Public Fasting & Prayer

FASTING DAY SEVEN FROM THE ARCHIVES

  • Fasting Day 7: Oh How I Need You!
  • Fasting Day 7: “Worship While You Fast” by Jentezen Franklin
  • Fasting Day 7: Drinking Straight-up Living Water
  • Fasting Day 7: Treasure in a Clay Jar
  • Fasting Day 7: Feeding Faith, Part 1
  • Fasting Day 7: Where is the Glory? The Samuel Fast

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This prayer for government and political leaders is based on promises from the Bible as we pray that God will give government leaders wisdom and fairness.  It can be used as an ongoing prayer for government leaders or can be prayed after an election, a transfer of power or during times of government transition.

Prayer for Government Leaders Using Scripture

Dear Ruler of the Universe,

We thank you that call us to live together under of the rule of law and under the leadership of governments of every kind.   We look to your word in the Bible that tells us “that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior.”  (I Timothy 2:1-3 NIV)

We are grateful for this strong word of guidance from a writer in an age when rulers could be good or bad and when the people had little or no say about who ruled or how they ruled.  Therefore, give us the grace to pray for the good and the bad leaders alike, those we agree with and those we disagree with,  as your Spirit empowers and leads us.

We stand on your promise that you can guide all those in leadership positions as it says in your Word, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.  All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart.  To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”  (Proverbs 21;1-3 NIV)

And so Father we pray for our government leaders that they will have guidable hearts.  Help them to have a true sense of service.  Fill them with a healthy realization that although they may exercise earthly power, You are ultimately in control of all destiny including theirs.  Fill them with a desire to obey the law of love which transcends all man-made laws.  Grant them a desire to serve justice rather than convenience or personal political advantage.

Surround our government leaders with good advisors.  We pray the grace of Proverbs 19:20 for them, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.”   We pray that you will add to their wisdom the gift of patience as it says in Proverbs 19:11 “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is his glory to overlook an offense.”  And: “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.”  (Proverbs 17:27 NIV)  Help our leaders to be quick to pray, quick to deliberate and quick to seek advice.  Help them to be slow to speak or act on impulse, out of anger, pride, greed or desires to strengthen their own power and control.

We pray that our government leaders will establish domestic peace and prevent evil doers from prospering as it says in your Word, “A wise king winnows out the wicked.”  (Proverbs 20:26 NIV)  “Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness.”  (Provers 16:12 NIV)  “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”  (Proverbs 14:34 NIV)   Guide our leaders in defending our communities from threats of lawlessness within our borders and from outside of  our borders.

But most of all, give our government leaders a deep and abiding faith in you.  We claim these promises for them today, “Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure.”  (Proverbs 20:27 NIV)  “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)  Give our leaders a strong, trusting relationship with Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd that our leaders might in turn be truly good shepherds of their flock You have entrusted to them.

We pray in the name of Christ the Everlasting King, Amen.

Related Links

Veterans Day Prayer

Fourth of July Prayer

Copyright Karen Barber 2012  All rights reserved.

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