In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, the apostle Paul writes, “I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Paul’s admonition to Timothy came in the context of Roman taxation, cultural oppression and intense persecution. In this tense environment, Paul urges Christ-followers to pray for their leaders. In a politically charged culture, Paul said prayer was a priority.

The principle is clear: You don’t have to agree with someone to pray for them. Their leadership was either ordained or allowed by God. Throughout the pages of Scripture, God has used leaders from all works of life, some willingly and others unwillingly to accomplish His purposes.

If the nation of Israel was called to pray for the peace and prosperity of Babylon, surely Christ-followers today should pray for the peace and prosperity of America. Here are four ways you can pray for President Barack Obama:

1. Pray for his safety. There are people around the world that would wish harm on the President and his family. Pray God would keep them safe from the evil one.” (John 17:15).

2. Pray for wisdom. True wisdom comes from the Lord, so we should pray the President looks to God for ultimate counsel as he leads our nation and influences the world. Likewise, pray for Godly advisors to speak truth in love to the President. In areas where the Presidents stated views do not alight with what we know of God’s Word, pray for a changed heart.

3. Pray for his family. The President is not only the leader of a nation, he is a husband and a father. Pray that God would protect his marriage and his children.

4. Pray for strength. Take a look at before and after pictures of past Presidents and you might get a glimpse at how tiring and stressful the job is. In reality, there is only a small fraternity of people who can relate. Pray God would grant strength for the tough tasks at hand to our nation’s leader.

Pastors, encourage your church to pray for the President.  

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