22 September 2022

When did you last pray for a politician?

Major Mal Davies

Someone wearing smart clothes being interviewed with microphones and recording devices surrounding them

Major Mal Davies considers why it is important to pray for leaders wherever you live.

I am sure you’re familiar with the old adage ‘never talk about religion or politics in polite company’. Well, I’m about to do both.

When was the last time you prayed for your political leaders – either in your own devotional time or during a Sunday meeting as a congregation? As Christians, we tend to sometimes pray for ‘things to get better’ but fail to pray for the people who have the power to make those things better. For example, to pray for energy prices to drop but not for those who control the pricing.

The recent selection of Liz Truss as prime minister of the UK has reminded me of the need to pray for political leaders, no matter what nation we’re in, which political party we support, or any political grudges we carry. As Christians, we’re called to pray.

In 1 Timothy 2:1– 4, Paul offers this advice to Timothy: ‘I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for rulers 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 Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth’ (ERV).

No matter where you live – or where you stand politically – the fact is that political leaders hold great power and great responsibility. We should pray that they will show discernment and wisdom, as well as care and empathy. We should go as far as praying for protection for them – physically, mentally and emotionally – and for their loved ones.

And finally, and perhaps most important of all, we should pray that, as Paul wrote, they are saved and know the truth. And really, why would you not pray for that? It is our desire for everyone – including our political leaders.

Note that the reason Paul said we should pray for leaders is so that ‘we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness’. He recognised, even 2,000 years ago, that our daily lives are heavily influenced by the people who sit in power. He understood that a decision made miles and miles away, in the halls of power, can change the lives of people in villages, towns and cities alike, whether they are working on a farm, running a household, managing a business, raising a family and so on.

We pray for political leaders not just for their welfare and their own sake, but for ours – we want our leaders to make wise decisions. We want our leaders to understand our struggles. We want our leaders to want the best for us.

So, this week – either at home or at your corps – I encourage you to pray for those who lead in your part of the world. Lift them up by name and seek that they would seek and know God’s will, and that they would have a heart for people.

The Bible says much about leaders and wise leadership. For those not called or chosen to be leaders, our role is made clear: we’re to pray.

Written by

Major Mal Davies

Major Mal Davies


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