I Timothy 2:1-7 (NRSV)
Chapter 2First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, Verse 2for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. Verse 3This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Verse 4who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Verse 5For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, Verse 6who gave himself a ransom for all-this was attested at the right time. Verse 7For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
The Apostle Paul urges us to pray for our political leaders, “for kings and for all who are in high positions.” Whatever our political persuasion, our leaders need our prayers. And for what do we pray? I remember once hearing a woman say that she was praying that our leaders would fail. I don’t think that’s what Paul had in mind! Psalm 72, for example, gives us a much better clue for how we might pray: “Give the king your justice, O God…May he judge your people with righteousness and your poor with justice…may he defend the cause of the poor…and give deliverance to the needy….” As Mahatma Gandhi observed long ago, “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” Indeed, it’s imperative that our national and local political leaders lead the way. While it’s easy to criticize them, let us be faithful as we include them in our prayers.
O God of the nations, grant our elected leaders and all those in positions of civic responsibility the wisdom to lead us where you would have us go. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.