When we say “authorities,” we are talking about our officials and leaders in the government. In 1 Peter 2:13-16, the apostle Peter teaches us that we are to submit ourselves to human institutions; in other words, we are to submit to the government leaders who govern over us. They are the ones God has appointed to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good. We are to submit to them and honor them. The apostle Paul teaches the same thing in Romans 13:1-7. Paul teaches us that we are to subject ourselves to the governing authorities. The apostle Paul further explains why we must submit to the authorities. Paul tells us that there is no authority except God. If there are governing authorities over us, it is not an accident that they are there, because God in His authority places those governing authorities above us. Paul also teaches us that the governing authorities are ministers and servants of God who are a terror to bad conduct. They are the sword and the avenger that carries out God’s wrath to the evildoers. If we resist them, we are resisting those whom God has appointed. If we want to honor God, we are to submit ourselves to them, even if they are not perfect. When the apostle Paul was writing Romans 13:1-7 to the church in Rome, they were under a tyrant government because the Roman government was persecuting Christians. Yet, Paul taught them to submit. The same is true for us; we must submit, even if our government is full of flaws. The only time we shouldn’t submit to them is if they compel us to sin against God. In that case, we should obey God more than men.
1 Peter 2:13-16
13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Where in the Bible does it say we should pray for our leaders?
In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, the apostle Paul teaches us that we are to make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving for all people. That includes praying for the governmental authorities. We should pray to God regarding our government because He has commanded us to do so. Another reason is that it is only God whom we can rely on regarding matters that involve our government. There are many things about our authorities that we may be worried about. We are concerned that they might make the wrong decisions and fail to deliver on their promises. However, whatever concerns or anxieties we have regarding our governing authorities, we must cast them all to God. That is why we should always pray for our governmental authorities, because while Christians who work in the government can make a difference inside the government, ultimately, it is God who handles all things. We can only depend and trust God at the end of the day to handle whatever concerns we have regarding the government. That is what makes a Christian different from a non-Christian. A Christian has peace because he or she trusts God that no matter what happens, He is sovereign.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul tells us not to be anxious about anything, but to make our requests known to God by prayer and supplication. As we pray to God regarding our anxieties concerning the governmental authorities, the peace of Christ that transcends all understanding shall guard our hearts and minds.
How do you pray for leaders?
To pray for leaders or governing authorities, you should know what God’s will is, in order to pray according to that will. The best prayers we can offer not just for the authorities, but for everyone, are prayers according to God’s will. We know God’s will by reading His Word, the Bible. When praying, it is essential to have a renewed mind that can discern the things that are acceptable and pleasing to God, so that we can pray those things to God. We can only have a renewed mind through the work of the Holy Spirit in us, and by reading God’s Word, by which we can know God’s will.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
One of the most important things you can pray for regarding the authorities is for them to have the opportunity to hear the Gospel. That may include praying for the Christians working in the government sector to step up and be more bold and courageous in preaching Christ to the lost. You can also pray for the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of governmental authorities as they get to hear the Gospel. You can pray for the Holy Spirit to turn their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh so that their hearts will no longer be hardened, but instead, soft enough to repent and believe in the person and work of Christ. You can also pray for the Holy Spirit to open their spiritually blinded eyes so that they may see the kingdom of God.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
You can also pray for wisdom upon the governmental authorities, that they shall lead with wisdom as they govern the nation. Wisdom is critical when it comes to governance. You can pray for wisdom to come upon the authorities by praying for God’s grace and mercy upon them. Everything that we have is only because of God’s grace and mercy. It is best to pray for wisdom upon the authorities by also praying for God’s grace and mercy upon them. With that, you can pray for them to always make the best decisions as they govern the nation, so that they shall always lead with excellence and competence. In line with governance, you can also include praying for the authorities to govern with integrity and honesty, that they shall not take bribes or do anything dishonest. You can also pray for them to always put the public’s interest above their own. As mentioned, governmental authorities are servants of God. They are there with a purpose, which is to govern, bring order, and punish those who do evil. We can pray for the authorities to do what they should always be doing.
Here is an example of how you can pray for the authorities:
Heavenly Father, You are the God who gives grace. I pray for our authorities to have the opportunity to hear the Gospel. I pray for all the Christians working in our government that they shall be bold, courageous, and unashamed in their preaching of the Gospel. I pray that as the government authorities hear the Gospel, You would soften their hearts so that they may repent and believe in the person and work of Christ. I pray that You give them the grace and mercy to be wise in their governance, that they shall always lead with discernment, knowledge, understanding, and prudence. I pray that they shall always come up with the best decisions for the public and always do what is right in your eyes. I pray that they shall be faithful to what you designed for them to do. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
How do you pray for corrupt leaders?
Praying for corrupt leaders is similar to praying for government authorities who are not in Christ. The main thing that you can pray for corrupt leaders is for them to be able to hear the Gospel and repent. Apart from Christ, they are in sin and enslaved to sin. Like any of us, they need Christ, who can liberate them from the bondage of sin and grant them eternal life. This means that the best prayer you can pray for corrupt leaders is for them to be saved.
Here is a prayer you can pray for the corrupt leaders to be saved:
Heavenly Father, You are the God of mercy. I pray that You show mercy to our corrupt leaders. I pray that they will have the opportunity to hear the Gospel, and as they listen to the Gospel, soften their hearts so that they may repent and believe the Gospel. Thank You, because they are freed from the slavery of sin in Christ, and sin has no more power over them. They can live a holy, righteous, and honest life in Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.In Jeremiah 29:7, God, through the prophet Jeremiah, told Israel to seek the welfare of Babylon, where they would be exiled temporarily. Seeking the well being of Babylon does not mean that they are to sin with Babylon. They seek its well being because they will be living there, and if Babylon’s well-being is terrible, theirs would be too. In the same way, we are exiles here on earth, waiting for our return to our real home, which is heaven. While we are here, however, we are to seek the well being of our nation, which includes those who govern it.