She wanted us to stop eating and pray.
Just like that. Just put our forks down and bow our heads then and there.
For our “boo boos” of all things, that’s what had our four-year-old inspired to lead a family prayer meeting in the middle of the evening meal.
So, we did, taking turns around our kitchen table, praying for a scratch, a C-section recovery, a splinter, a bruised shin. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I felt the difference the next day. My recovery post-C-section had gone smoothly, gone well, but I still felt that tender reminder of surgery if I moved too fast, too long, too far. We prayed at the whim of a preschooler, though, and my healing progressed overnight.
Why is it I forget to pray for the big things, the commanded things?
When prayer works, when it’s real and responsive, when I see the answers clearly with my own two eyes and feel the results in my own body, and when a tiny blond-headed girl prompts me to pray…why then do I fail so often to pray as I should?
Because I do. I forget. I pray about a million problems and worries and issues I encounter every single day for me, for my family, for my friends, for the people I see driving around my little town, for my kids’ school and my husband’s workplace and the people at church.
Yet, Scripture tells me I need to pray for those in authority, for the government leaders, and I confess this truth: Other than an occasional quick “help the president and congress, Lord” I forget to pray for them most of the time….at least until our paychecks take the hit and suddenly I’m the one inspired to lead prayer meetings.
This election day in the United States, though, let us commit to pray and really do it, not just mean to do it or start to do it and never finish.
For us as citizens and for our nation:
Lord, forgive us as a nation:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV).
Turn our hearts to You so that we walk in righteousness:
Lord, help us revere You and respect those in authority. Show us how to be good citizens.
Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government (1 Peter 2:13-17 MSG).
Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear. (Romans 13:1-3 MSG).
Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s. Matt. 22:21 NASB
For those in authority:
Thank You, Lord, that all authority is subject to You:
For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations (Psalm 22:28 ESV).
He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away. He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a pathless waste. They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man (Job 12:23-25 ESV).
We ask that You guide and direct our leaders:
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NASB)
Give them wisdom as they lead us:
He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning (Dan. 2:20-21)
For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers (Proverbs 11:14 NIV).
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King