On January 20, 2021 the United States of America inaugurated Joe R. Biden Jr. as its new president. This last year has seen much division in our country and this election is no exception. There are many who did not want Joe Biden to win the presidency and there are many who did. As Christians, what should we pray for as we enter into this new administration?
Here are some Scriptures that I hope will help guide our prayers for this new administration:
1 Timothy 2:1-4
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 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.”
Paul urges Timothy to tell the church in Ephesus to pray. Who are we to pray for?
- All people. Pray for as many as you can! As many as you think of! None are excluded from our prayers.
- For kings and all who are in high positions. Our presidents and our politicians are not excluded from our prayers. Imagine the stress that you have at your job. Now imagine the stress that must come from running an entire country! They need our prayers!
What should we pray for?
- Pray that we may “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
- Pray that our leaders would lead in such a way that we can lead a peaceful and quiet life.
- Pray that we may be godly and dignified in every way. Whether or not our nation’s leaders choose to be peaceful and quiet, godly or dignified, pray that we would live that way under their leadership.
“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.”
It shouldn’t be lost on us that living peacefully and quietly, dignified and godly is pleasing to God and that there is a connection to God being pleased with such behavior and his desire that all people be saved. We make the Kingdom of God attractive to the world around us when we please God in dignity, godliness, peace and quiet. Let’s pray for this. And you know who is included in the “all people” that God wants to be saved? Our nation’s leaders. Let’s pray for their salvation! Our God is able to do this, so let’s pray for them.
“It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established in righteousness.”
- Pray that our new president would not do evil.
- Pray that his administration would be established and pleasing to God in righteousness.
1 Peter 2:13-17
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
- Pray that we would be submitted for the Lord’s sake to our federal and state governments.
- Pray that we would do good so that it would be obvious to all that we are servants of God.
- Pray that we would live as free Americans, but more importantly freed Christians by the blood of Christ and not use either freedom as a cover-up (or an excuse, or a disguise, or an allowance) for our own sin.
- Pray that we would love the church.
- Pray that we would fear God more than we fear men.
- Pray that we would honor our new president and his new administration.
- Pray that when we talk about our government as Christians, we wouldn’t slander them or give anyone any reason to believe that we disrespect them or despise them.
“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
- Pray that we wouldn’t return evil for evil done to us.
- Pray that we wouldn’t return disrespect for disrespect.
- Pray that we would consider how we can act in a way that is honorable to all people and then act in that way.
- Pray that God would grant us the wisdom and the graciousness to live at peace with everyone in our country (that if there is a lack of peace, that it’s not because of any sin of ours).
- Pray that we would have the self-control and the faith to not seek vengeance, but to trust God that he will make all things right for us in the end.
- Pray that we would do good to those whom we disagree with (even those that we might be tempted to call “enemies”).
- Pray that we would do so much good, pray that we would act with so much kindness, pray that we would listen to one another with such humble hearts, pray that we would love with so much Christlikeness, that evil is overcome in this country—that evil would not be able to fight back against such good but would be swallowed up in the goodness and love of God.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
- Pray that we would not shapeshift, and that we wouldn’t let the world mold us into the ways that the world does things.
- Pray that our new president wouldn’t fit the mold either.
- Pray that he and we would be transformed by God as God renews our minds.
- Pray that he and we would be able to test and determine God’s will for us in our personal lives and our lives in community with one another.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-2
“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.”
- Pray that God would deliver us from whatever evil comes our way.
- Pray that the gospel of Jesus Christ would speed ahead through all of us individually and together as a local church. Pray that it would be honored by all who hear it.
- Pray that the gospel would be received by our neighbors, by our community, by our state, by our nation, by our world.
- Pray that God would use this administration in such a way that the gospel would move with light-like speed into every corner of this dark world.
We pray these things because it is only ever God who can do these things and we pray these things in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.