“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”–1 Timothy 2:1–4
On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere made his famous “midnight ride” to warn that the British troops were leaving Boston to try to confiscate the colonist’s weapons. His special purpose was to alert two men, Samuel Adams and John Hancock. These prominent leaders of the cause of American independence were special targets of the British raid, with soldiers purposing to bring back the bodies of Adams and Hancock. That night, Adams and Hancock had met, not to plan a political rally or write a treatise demanding independence, but to pray for God’s help and blessing. When Revere reached Lexington, he found them sleeping in the house of a local pastor, Reverend Clark, and alerted them to the danger in time to flee.
Many people find it easy to criticize presidents, politicians, and judges. Few take the time to pray for them, or seek God’s direction and guidance on those He has chosen to set in authority. In reality, no politicians of our day compare to the wickedness of the Emperor Nero—the ruler of the Roman Empire when Paul penned the instructions to pray for those in civil authority (1 Timothy 2). We must never forget that human government is instituted by God, and He has the ultimate say both over who leads nations and how they lead. Our assignment is to regularly and faithfully pray for those leaders, whether they are the ones we would prefer or not.