Whether you agree or not with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, Pres. Donald Trump, or any president of your country, there is no excuse. You are called to pray for your president or prime minister regardless of your political views.
In my journey across several nations, it gave me insights that sometimes, the political views of Christians are as divisive as sectarianism and denominationalism. It’s almost like clashing religions or fanaticism.
Let me take you for a short biblical survey why we should pray for our president and government officials.
1. Be Contemplative in Your View Regarding Any Government.
The Word of God is very clear about its view regarding the government officials. Apostle Paul, considered by scholars as the prime theologian of Christianity, admonished the early Christians to respect and submit to governing authorities.
St. Paul said, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
In the same vein, Apostle Peter said, “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors.”
For these two great and godly men to say those words to the early Christians who were ruled by some of the most notorious emperors of that time was no simple instruction. But they spoke of God’s words and it is a divine command, not a suggestion.
Every well-meaning follower of Jesus must understand that your president, the legislators, the police and armed forces, and all government officials are “servants of God,” nothing less and nothing more. They serve God’s over-all purposes, even if they don’t seem to reflect it in every way.
2. Be Concerned for All Your Government Officials.
If anyone thinks he or she can undermine the government by any religious or self-righteous means, think again.
Why would the Word of God give prominence to government leaders in large emphasis?
Two historical books are the books of I and II Kings. Some of the great leaders of the Bible are kings, like David, Solomon, and others—as well as Queen Esther. Great government advisors, like Joseph, Nehemiah, and Daniel among many, served under several kings, even despotic ones.
In all these accounts, these biblical leaders modeled genuine concern to their government leaders because regardless of the outcome, it will affect God’s people.
Christians, especially those working in the government, must be more concerned and not just consider their task as a job or employment. They themselves must learn how to pray and excel in the workplace, knowing that the government is God’s institution.
One of the best ways to show that you care for the president and all the government officials is to pray for them.
3. Be Cooperative.
When you pray for your government officials, it does not mean you have to agree with everything they decree and do. But still, we have to submit, subscribe, and support.
Why? “For he is the servant of God,” Paul reasons out, “an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”
Likewise, Apostle Peter could be more profound in his reasoning. “Be subject…whether it be to the emperor as supreme. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people…Honor everyone…Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
Regardless of who you are, whether you are on the right or left wing in your political views, you still belong to the same chicken. We are all citizen of one nation or another.
However, if you belong to the kingdom of God, it does not mean you have to disrespect this earthly authority.
Have you observed that unruly people have a problem with submission? Since the heart has a problem, it cannot pray in the right way.
That God is the Benevolent King and that Jesus Christ is “the King of kings, and Lord of Lords,” as responsive communities we are to be contemplative, concerned, and cooperative to the government even it is imperfect and less ideal.
For these, I continue to pray for our President Rodrigo Duterte, our Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Congressman Mark Go…and all government officials as a whole.
How about you? Do you have the courage to pray for your government leaders?
Glenn Plastina © 2017