Americans seem to have an almost reflexive dislike for politicians and other government movers and shakers, especially at the national level. For example, in a May Gallup poll, President Donald Trump’s approval rating was pretty much down in the dumpster at 39%.
Meanwhile, a Pew Research Center poll in April found Congress’s approval rating below that of President Trump, at 34%. A whopping 62% said they held a very (24%) or mostly (38%) unfavorable opinion of lawmakers in Washington.
When politicians move out of the public eye and take up residence on the sidelines, Americans seem to grow a bit fonder of them. Favorability numbers are fairly good for past presidents like George W. Bush (59%) and Barack Obama (63%), according to a recent Gallup poll. (By the way, Bush’s numbers represent quite an improvement. If you can trust a CBS/New York Times poll, when he left office, Bush 43 had a 22% approval rating.)
And just to be fair, let’s include the judiciary branch of the federal government. A 2016 Gallup poll found that only 45% of Americans approved of the way the U.S. Supreme Court was doing its job, with 47% disapproving.
Love them or hate them, whether we like it or not, men and women in politics – in all three federal branches, and at the federal, state, and local level – make decisions that impact nearly every area of our lives.
For the Christian, however, we can never settle for just having an opinion, whether or not we take the next step and communicate that opinion via approval or denunciation. We are called to pray for our leaders:
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
However, it’s not always immediately obvious what we should exactly pray for, so here is a list of seven things to ask God concerning our decision-makers. There are Scriptures underneath to allow some Bible study to guide the process. There are many, many other things to pray for, so feel free to add to this list.
At this time of the year, many of us will celebrate our independence as a nation and, more importantly, express our gratefulness to God for our liberty. As you intercede for our leaders, please pray that:
- They might seek God, hear the gospel, repent of their sins, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 17:27-30; Romans 10:14; Proverbs 28:13; James 4:8
- They would respect God’s authority over them and be accountable to Him, promoting what is good and punishing what is evil.
Romans 13:1-7; Proverbs 2:9-11; 2 Chronicles 20:32; Proverbs 21:1
- They might fear God and not man, and thus gain wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
Proverbs 9:10; James 1:5; Proverbs 29:25; Proverbs 3:5-8; 1 Chronicles 12:32
- They would turn to God’s reproof, that they might know God’s word.
Proverbs 1:23; Psalm 19:7-11
- They might become men and women of integrity and uprightness.
Psalm 25:21; Psalm 26:1-3
- They would surround themselves with wise and godly counselors, who do not walk in wickedness.
Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 24:1-6; Psalm 1:1-6; 26:4-5
- They would seek the welfare of the people whom they serve and not their own interests.
Jeremiah 29:7; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Isaiah 1:23; Proverbs 17:23; Proverbs 29:4
Here is a sample version:
I pray that our leaders will come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. May they repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. May they submit to God and do what is right in His eyes. May they promote what is good and punish what is evil. May they desire to know what God says in His word. May they obey the Lord and not care what other people think. May they choose wise people to help them, people who do not love sin. May they do what is best for the people of our country, rather than serving their own interests.