Many across this country of ours gathered to pray for our country and its leaders Thursday during what has been called the National Day of Prayer. What does the Bible tell us we should do as a duty to our government?
It tells us that we are to pray for our leaders. In 1 Timothy 2, the Scripture says, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority.” It’s easy to talk negative and tell jokes about our leaders, but it’s another thing to talk to our heavenly father about them through prayer. They are in places of awesome responsibilities, and as human beings will make bad choices, but this gives us an even greater reason for the need of our prayers. We need to pray that they receive wisdom from God and that they receive conviction when making the wrong decisions. We need to pray for protection for them and their families.
We also are told in Scripture that we are to submit to authorities over us. In 1 Peter 2, we are told to “submit to every authority instituted among men, whether to the king as the supreme authority or to governors.” We don’t have a king, but we do have a federal government with three branches, a state government with three branches and a local government. Scripture instructs us to submit to government every time as long as it doesn’t ask us to do something that violates God’s laws. The reason it is so important to submit is that, without order, any society would have chaos. In our form of government, you have the right to disagree and voice it, and you have the freedom to try to change what you don’t like through the proper channels.
As Christians, we need to be careful that our attitudes towards government that we oppose don’t show themselves to be un-Christ-like and build a wedge between us and those we are trying to reach for Christ. Peter again says, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil.”
Remember: We are the only Bible that some people read.