Praying for our leaders is commanded by Scripture: “I ask that requests, prayers, petitions, and thanksgiving be made for all people. Pray for kings and everyone who is in authority so that we can live a quiet and peaceful life in complete godliness and dignity.” -1 Timothy 2:1-2
This has been a helpful spiritual discipline for me over the years. I pray not so much because it changes the leaders I’m praying for, though I believe it does in some way. Prayer gives God more to work with it seems. But as C.S. Lewis famously said, I pray because it changes me. So for this National Day of Prayer, here is my prayer for those in authority in our nation:
O Lord, I ask that Your power be real to our President, senate, congress, judges, and all who hold power given to them by the people of this great land. Let them not be dazzled by the power they hold, but rather by the power that You hold, to create the universes, love all people, and sustain the world in Your mercy.
I pray that You give our leaders the daily gift of a quiet space inside their minds and hearts where they are grounded in Your love for all people. Let that knowledge guide all of their decisions.
I pray that our leaders be given the blessing of true friends who will provide wise counsel. I pray that You will remove all flatterers and instead surround them with people of integrity and courage. I pray that You will tune their ears to wise words.
God, I pray that You will guide the American people to pursue the common good of our planet, our nation, our communities, and our children. Help us to spend our energies on what matters and to stay away from gossip, revenge, and greed. Let us be a people who do not give in to despair but rather help us give our whole selves to serving each other, regardless of political affiliations. I pray that You will help us remember Your truth that the greatest among us are those who serve. Help all of us to live a peaceful life in dignity.
You are the light of the world, O Lord. Shine Your light on us always, from the White House to my house, that we may walk in Your ways together. Amen.