Why Pray for Leaders?

William C. Brownson

Read: 1 Timothy 2:1-2

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people . . . (v. 1)

The apostle Paul assigns a high priority to praying for our leaders: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions . . .” He is saying that nothing is more important for our common life than praying for those who govern us.

Why is such intercession so vital? The apostle continues: “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” Paul believes that our united prayers for those in power can help to shape the quality of life in a nation. The apostle’s exhortation is similar to God’s words in Jeremiah’s letter to the Jewish exiles in Babylon: “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jer. 29:7). Such praying can lead to civic order, reverence, and good character.

What a call to pray when these priceless realities are not present among us, or in the wider world! The greatest resource of any commonwealth is a body of faithful intercessors. And isn’t that the best hope for a world torn by strife and evil?

Paul is telling his young friend: “Timothy, call your people to sustained intercession as their highest work—and see that you lead the way!” —Bill Brownson

As you pray, pray for your civic leaders and for the transformation of your community.