Every few years, I like to remind believers that we need to pray for our elected leaders. This is true whether they stand for evil or good. Scripture tells us to make “entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings…for kings and all who are in authority” (1 Tim. 2.1-2). The Roman government in the first century was hardly a force for good in the world, yet Paul called on Christians to pray for them. Similarly, political leaders in America often promote more evil than good. So how should we pray for them?
First of all, we must never ignore evil. When presidents or other powerful leaders promote activity which God condemns, we cannot support them. But we can still pray for them. The admonition to pray is for all leaders.
An internet news daily once suggested praying that a president would fail if he sought to promote death and division. The author wrote, “When the rule of men conflicts with the commands of God, the Bible leaves no doubt about where we should stand. That’s why I do not hesitate…in calling on godly Americans to pray that [ungodly leaders] fail.” I understand his thinking – but recommend a different approach.
Instead of making the success or failure of a human leader the focus of our prayers, let’s make God the focus. After all, God has the sovereign prerogative to install leaders, and bring them down (see Daniel 2.21). He doesn’t count prayers like votes, then throw out bad leaders if there are enough prayers! His scope and purposes reach beyond our knowledge.
Therefore, let’s pray that God would frustrate the schemes of Satan to use leaders to cause suffering and spread evil, and even turn their efforts around and use them to promote God’s love and the spread of the gospel! God has been in the business of turning what men mean for evil to instead work out for good since the dawn of time! A few suggestions for our prayers for Biden:
- Pray he will discover the truth of the gospel, and receive the gift of eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ. Nothing is more important than this, because if he trusts Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit will convict him of evil and motivate him to stand against it.
- Pray that he will promote peace in our nation and the world, so that in coming years we will have opportunities to proclaim the gospel and see people saved as a result. This is explicitly why we are told to pray for leaders (see 1 Timothy 2:4).
- Pray that he will be frustrated in his (or his cabinet’s) efforts to endorse and promote ungodliness in the world. Although there may not be many, some of his advisors may stand for moral values, and we can pray that their voice will affect his decisions.
Most of all, let’s all pray that as the world wallows in the darkness of sin, Christians will shine more brightly and clearly the pristine gospel of God’s grace. This is our Great Commission, to preach the gospel to all creation (Mark 16:15), and make disciples (Matthew 28:19)! And that’s something we should pray for, no matter who is president.