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January 12, 2010

Reasons To Keep Praying For Political Leaders In 2010

As promised, I present our 2010 leadership prayer guide. I look forward to encouraging you to pray not only for us (as we labor for Christ’s Great Commission within the political community), but also for your leaders. Like us, they have legitimate prayer needs each day and God calls us to pray for “all men kings and all who are in authority” (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Who are all those who are in authority?

While “all who are in authority” might be limited to those in political authority, it seems reasonable that “all who are in authority” may refer to “all” who are in positions of authority i.e. husbands, parents, church leaders, employers (managers, supervisors etc.) and political leaders in all three branches of our government. Even if it is more limited, the call to pray for “all men” would be encouragement enough for us to include them, and on this basis I am trying to be more consistent in extending my prayers to include all those who are in positions of authority.

While we may occasional fall into the rut of using prayer as a last resort or in times of desperation, it is interesting to note that the leaders of the early church DEVOTED themselves to “prayer and a ministry of the word.” The leaders of the early church clearly understood that prayer and a ministry of the Word was the best way to effect the change to which Christ had called them. And the results…? The world was turned upside down, and pagan Rome was soon, in a profound way reoriented toward the teachings of Christ. Here is how it all began:

Acts 6:1-7 Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. 2 And the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. 3 "But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. 4 "But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word." 5 And the statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. 6 And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them. 7 And the word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

The highlights are mine: Notice the apostles devotion to two main areas (prayer and a ministry of the word in verse 4), and notice the results (in verse 7). It is interesting also to note that every great movement for Christ began in this same way, with prayer and a ministry of the Word of God. Should it be any different with us? I think not.

This year, I look forward to regularly encouraging you to remain faithful in prayer for political leaders. If you have been motivated to pray in this way, would you tell us about it? Also let us know if you have a favorite Scripture passage that motivates you to pray. We might share your story with others so that they too would be encouraged to keep on praying.

May God help all of us to remain faithful and prayerful in 2010!

Sincerely,

State Director, Arkansas