How to pray for people in government and other positions of authority
From: ‘Prayer changes everything’, written by Bennie Mostert, Carpe Diem publishers
1 Tim.2:1-2 has clear instructions that we should pray “for kings and all those in authority.” This is a direct instruction from Scripture which we should regard seriously. A battle is under way in the air for political rule in each country. If the powers of darkness are allowed to work undisturbed and influence people, they will get control over governments and people in positions of authority. The consequences will be catastrophic. Apart from the fact that the Evil One wants to control and manipulate people in the political field, he wants to control people in any other position of authority.
A. Who must we pray for?
- Politicians: the president, cabinet, parliament, diplomats, opposition parties, ambassadors, etc.
- The legal profession: judges, advocates, lawyers, legal advisers.
- Protection services: heads of police, heads of the military.
- Spiritual leaders: pastors, ministers, priests, rabbis, and also for the spiritualleaders of other false religions.
- Educational leaders: teachers, inspectors, lecturers, headmasters, rectors.
- Cultural leaders: prominent persons in the entertainment and sports world,managements of cultural organisations.
- Commercial leaders: figures of authority in the business world, business leaders,economists, bankers.
- People in authority in the media: editors, executive officials at radio and televisionstations, editors of magazines.
- Municipal and government officials: mayors, town clerks, executive officials.
- Social leaders: chair persons of clubs and societies.
B. How should we pray for them?
- Pray for their salvation so that they can be reconciled to God. Pray that they will come into contact with the gospel and that they will experience the love of God. Pray specifically that the Lord will send people to them who can witness to them.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will convict them of sin and that they will confess their sins before God and be delivered from the Evil One. Pray specially that corrupt and unsaved leaders become convicted and that they will seek God’s forgiveness. Pray for them for pure lives and sober habits.• Pray for their families (wives and children) for their salvation and that they will influence the person’s life positively.
- Pray for the person in the execution of his duties, that he will act fairly, humanely and with insight.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will pour out the love of God into the person’s life, “…because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Rm.5:5).
- Pray according to Mic.6:8 (“He has showed you, o man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love kindness and mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”) for the person:
- a) that he will govern fairly and do that which is right;
- b) that he will be merciful, unselfish and sensitive to the people’s needs;
- c) that he will be humble and realise that he will have to give account to Godbecause he was appointed by God.
- Pray that unfair and godless leaders will make “mistakes” that will be to the advantage of the gospel.
- Pray that oppressors and godless leaders will lose their positions of power by means of wrong advice. “Confuse the wicked, o Lord, confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city” (Ps.55:9). Pray also that the Lord will remove bad rulers and appoint God fearing persons instead.
- Vice versa, we must also pray that the Lord will disrupt the advice of evil advisors and that He will give the leader wisdom and discernment.
- Pray that the plans of those who are involved in plots and unholy conspiracies will be broken, whether the conspirators are people in authority or persons seeking to harm someone in authority, we need to pray that their plans will come to nothing.
- There are specific demons working in politics and at government level. Pray and resist the influence of the evil powers on the lives of individuals in Jesus’ Name. Break the strongholds of the Evil One in politics and in individual’s lives. Also break the evil plans of Satan in the hearts of people in positions of authority, especially sophistry about how a leader should act, which is not according to Scripture.
- Pray for the leaders in countries where there is bloodshed, violence, chaos and anarchy, that they will tire of these evils and seek for peace and stability.
- Pray that leaders will realise that they were appointed by God and that He gave them authority so that they will act responsibly and will realise that they will have to give account to God of everything that they do.
- Pray that the decisions that leaders must make will be the right ones and that they will be in unity with the will of God. Pray for the person for Godly wisdom in his position of authority when he often has to make difficult decisions under much stress.
- Pray for their relationship with their personnel and subjects, that they will act in wisdom and love and that they will treat others with human dignity.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will capture their thoughts and that He will dominate their thinking.
C. Things to remember when praying for people in positions of authority:
- Know that God can handle people in spite of who or what they are.
- It is a command from the Lord that we should pray for such people, because it isHis will that we do so.
- The purpose of intercession for people in positions of authority is:
a) that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, and
b) that circumstances will be such that the gospel can move swiftly through the
• Hold fast onto God’s sovereignty and omnipotence. Hold fast to the fact that God appoints and takes away leaders. It says in Pr.21:1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.”
• Read the newspaper, listen to the radio and watch television. Use the information you gather from these sources to pray for people in positions of authority more meaningfully.
• Make a list of the names of people you are going to pray for. It is inevitable that you will not be able to pray for all people by name. Ask the Holy Spirit to lay specific people’s names on your heart and pray for them.
• Make sure that there is no political preference in our heart when you pray. The true intercessor cannot pray if he is prejudiced, negative or rebellious. These things will form a blockage while you pray.