Blessing Our Authorities
First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men, For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly]we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way. For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior, Who wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine] Truth (1 Timothy 2:1–3).
My husband and I have been asked several times what we are praying for our current President and his administration. I must admit that at the beginning, petitioning God on their behalf was most difficult. These were not people of my choosing; our principles for living vastly differ. Therefore, praying for them felt like prematurely ripping a scab off a wound. There was still live flesh beneath and it smarted big time. But obedience to God’s Word won out (even if prayer came with a slight curl to my upper lip).
God took note of my feeble attempts and has since been granting more grace, making it easier for me to pray. But not before convicting me out of Matthew 5:44 to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, and to let all that you do be done in love (1 Corinthians 16:14). He also brought to mind a church service I attended decades ago, where a woman missionary to the drug addicts in Hong Kong’s "ungoverned, and densely populated" Kowloon Walled City spoke. Her stories of radically-changed lives midst unimaginable and deplorable living conditions were powerful to say the least. Her anointing, profound. Afterward, when our pastor asked her and her team to pray over us, I sprang to my feet, eager to receive an impartation of her anointing with the signs, wonders, and miracles she described.
My visions of grandeur came to a screeching halt within moments of her opening her mouth. Shock gave way to tears as she prayed perhaps the most impactful (and seemingly harsh) “blessings” that cut right to the heart. Memory of her exact words have faded over time, but their essence remains—grip them with the fear of the Lord, break their hearts over the lost. No fluff to soften the blows, no little extras to make her “blessings” go down easier. May we never recover from their impact.
The particulars of what we’re to be praying in our petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings to God for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority are not laid out (giving us room to be led by the Spirit). But God does tell us that His ultimate wish is for all men to be saved and to come into the knowledge of the Truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
Because praying for authorities is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior (vs.3), and salvation is paramount in softening relationships between the governing and the governed (vs.2), and because the missionary’s “blessings” forever rocked our world—Bill and I have incorporated all three factors into our prayers for government officials. Below are but a few of the (seemingly harsh, yet hopefully good-hearted) “blessings” we pray:
· We bless the president and those in his administration with the Spirit of the fear of the Lord gripping their hearts. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil (Proverbs 8:13), is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10); is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). In it are riches and honor and life (Proverbs 22:4).
· We bless them with Holy Spirit Presence, convicting them of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged (John 16:8–11).
· We bless them with troubling dreams and visions from heaven—dreams that close the gap between church and state, and that greatly impact rulers with God’s glory (Daniel 2; Daniel 4; Daniel 5; Matthew 27:19).
· We bless their hearts with the godly grief God permits to direct and produce a repentance that leads and contributes to salvation and deliverance from evil (2 Corinthians 7:10; Acts 2:37; Acts 16:29–30).
· We bless them with their own personal Damascus Road experience with Christ Jesus (Acts 9).
· May they experience the ultimate blessing of knowing their sins are forgiven and their relationship to God restored (Romans 4:6–8). Bless them with meek and pure hearts that hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5). Bless them with godly desires to do justly, and love kindness and mercy, and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8).