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Praying for Government Leaders (Part 2): A Prayer Guide

Praying for Government Leaders

As believers, we’re instructed to pray for “kings and all those in authority” (1 Timothy 2:2). It is our duty and responsibility to pray for our government leaders.

Part One of this post included a prayer for the president of the United States and his cabinet. These prayer points and scripture references can serve as a guide as you pray for all government leaders—from your local leaders to the state and federal level.

Instructions for Us as We Pray

We are to pray for our leaders and all who are in authority

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3, NIV).

We are to pray respectfully for our leaders.

“Honor all people. … Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17, NKJV).
We are to pray with the clear understanding that government authority is established by God.
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1, NKJV).
We are to pray knowing that God’s Word says:
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1, NKJV). (Tweet this)

Praying for Your Leader by Name

Too often we don’t pray for our leaders in government because:

  1. We don’t know what to pray.
  2. We feel we over generalize in the request itself, and also when referencing the target of the prayer (e.g. “God bless my leaders”).
  3. We feel it’s hopeless to pray—our leaders will remain corrupt, deceitful, or immoral.

The bulleted list below counters each of these hindrances to prayer.

  1. It includes specific requests you can make in prayer.
  2. It also includes the scriptural basis for the requests, reminding you it’s not hopeless to pray such; it’s God’s will!
  3. It also has a place for you to insert your leader’s name. (A quick google search should give you the names of your local, state and federal leaders.)

This is an abbreviated, summary version. The same prayer points are below, with the full text of the scripture references.


Insert the name of your local, state, and federal leader in the prayer guide below.

  • Open the heart of [name] to hear and respond to the Gospel message if they do not know you. — Acts 16:14
  • Help [name] know that his/her office was granted to him/her by God. — Daniel 2:19-22
  • Help [name] to accept wise counsel. — Proverbs 11:14; 15:22
  • Teach [name] to trust in You. — Psalm 21:7
  • Protect [name] from the influence of the evil one. — 2 Thessalonians 3:3
  • Pray that [name] will find wisdom and direction in God’s word. — Proverbs 21:1
  • Deliver [name] from opinions contrary to Your Word. — Psalm 119:105
  • Give [name] discretion, foresight, and understanding in making decisions. — 1 Chronicles 22:12
  • Enable [name] to make decisions according to God’s truth. — Proverbs 2:10-11
  • Protect [name] from harm, and bless and protect his/her family. — Psalm 21:11; Ezra 6:10
  • Enable [name] to carry out his/her duties with humility toward You and toward others. — 1 Peter 5:5
  • Give [name] the courage to do the right thing even when urged to do the wrong thing. — Proverbs 2:11–15
  • Give [name] a tender heart of compassion toward those he/she leads and serves. — Colossians 3:12 [1]

* Points in prayer taken from How to Pray for Our Leaders1

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Prayer Points with Full Scripture References

Open the heart of [name] to hear and respond to the Gospel message if they do not know you.

“Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14).

Help [name] know that his/her office was granted to him/her by God.

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2:20-22. NKJV) (Tweet this)

Help [name] to accept wise counsel.

“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14, NKJV. See also Proverbs 15:22) (Tweet this)

Teach [name] to trust in You.

“For the king trusts in the Lord, And through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved” (Psalm 21:7, NKJV).

Protect [name] from the influence of the evil one. 

“But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3, NKJV). (Tweet this)

Pray that [name] will find wisdom and direction in God’s word.

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1, NKJV).

Deliver [name] from opinions contrary to Your Word. 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105, NKJV). (Tweet this)

Give [name] discretion, foresight, and understanding in making decisions.

“Above all, may the Lord give you insight and understanding when He puts you in charge of Israel so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God” (1 Chronicles 22:12, HCSB). (Tweet this)

Enable [name] to make decisions according to God’s truth. 

“For wisdom will enter your mind, and knowledge will delight your heart.
Discretion will watch over you, and understanding will guard you” (Proverbs 2:10-11).

Protect [name] from harm, and bless and protect his/her family.

“Though they intend to harm you and devise a wicked plan, they will not prevail” (Psalm 21:11, HCSB).

“That they may offer sacrifices of sweet aroma to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and his sons” (Ezra 6:10, NKJV).

Enable [name] to carry out his/her duties with humility toward You and toward others.

 “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5).

Give [name] the courage to do the right thing even when urged to do the wrong thing.

“Discretion will watch over you,
and understanding will guard you,
12 rescuing you from the way of evil—
from the one who says perverse things,
13 from those who abandon the right paths
to walk in ways of darkness,
14 from those who enjoy doing evil
and celebrate perversion,
15 whose paths are crooked,
and whose ways are devious” (Proverbs 2:11–15, HCSB)

Give [name] a tender heart of compassion toward those he/she leads and serves.

“Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12, HCSB).

 

TweetablesTweetables

  • “A prayer guide as you #pray for your government leaders. One-sentence requests, with scripture basis for each. Click to tweet Tweet
  • “I urge that prayers … be made … for kings and all those who are in authority. ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-2 Click to tweet Tweet
  • “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” ~ Proverbs 21:1 Click to tweet Tweet
  • “Wisdom and might are [God’s] … He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise.” ~ Daniel 2:20-21 Click to tweet Tweet
  • “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” ~ Proverbs 11:14 Click to tweet Tweet
  • “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:3 Click to tweet Tweet
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” ~ Psalm 119:105 Click to tweet Tweet
  • “May the Lord give you insight and understanding when He puts you in charge…” ~ 1 Chronicles 22:12 #PrayerforLeaders Click to tweet Tweet

 

Questions: 

  • Do you pray regularly for your government leaders, as we’re exhorted to do? 
  • How is your confidence as you pray for those in your government? Are you despondent, having concluded that your government leaders will always be corrupt, deceptive, full of pride, or immoral? 
  • Do these prayer points and scripture references encourage you to pray in different ways than you’ve been praying? If so, in what ways? 

 

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  1. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. (2016). How to Prayer for Our Leaders [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://bgcdn.s3.amazonaws.com/secure/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/How-to-pray-fo-our-Leaders-v3.pdf

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