Praying for Our Leaders


1Tim. 2:1    First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.


Timothy was being instructed on prayer, both for himself and the church community whom they served. They were to take seriously the call to prayer, which included all of those within their community. They were to bring needs and requests, as well as their thanksgivings before the Father in prayer. 

No one was to be excluded from the prayers of the church community. Even those with whom they did not have common interest were to be prayed for, including those in leadership. To pray for the leaders was to pray for the whole community because of their decisions. Therefore it becomes the Christian’s duty to pray for those whose actions will have an effect on every citizen. The result is that prayer is to be at the very center of every church. 


I’ve been in three countries this week, and read news from many more, each with their needs and political concerns. I stayed in a hotel over the weekend where the four wives of the president of one country were staying as well, and all of this has been quite interesting. We all find ourselves in different places politically and with varying opinions about our leaders. Some are thought of as being good, others bad, and regarding others we are rather indifferent. Some of us may say that our leader isn’t worth praying for, and yet, this admonition to pray for leaders has no exceptions. 

Reading different commentaries on this passage I find the responses very contextualized. Tertullian was living during a time of persecution and yet, he affirmed praying for leadership. His leaders were enemies of the church, those who were hurting the followers of Jesus Christ, and yet, he encourages his people to pray for their persecutors. Chrysostom writes some time later when the church is under the protectorate of the Roman Empire. He admonishes his parishioners to pray for the Emperor and for the decisions of the Empire that will affect the lives of its citizens. The people are encouraged to pray that decisions will be just and will improve the welfare of all citizens. Both of these contexts are quite different, but there is one point that is the same — the continued praying for leadership. 

Whether we agree or disagree with our leaders, we are called to be a people of prayer. Be willing to pray the very best for your leader today, for the decisions of leadership have the power to affect change for the whole community. We pray for the least of these when we pray for the most powerful of these. 


Lord, I pray today for those who find themselves in paces of leadership and with gratitude power. May your peace sweep over them today and lead them in ways that will be for the good of all humankind. Amen. 


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  2. Thank you for sharing this. I wish we would model this as a community of believers. Of all groups, the community of faith should be the ones interceding for leaders even when those around us are viciously tearing them apart. We don't have to agree or even like our leaders but we are commanded to pray FOR them and not against them. Why would an evil leader be drawn to Christ if His people are not reflecting His grace?

    1. Mark, thanks for your comment. I believe we do need to work on modeling this for our communities! May God help us.


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