I will pray for those in authority

I’m not a very politically minded person. I know. Shame on me. I should pay closer attention to senators, mayors, congressmen, the President… I do give myself credit for knowing the names of the President and Vice President. I know a few names of the current candidates. And on a good day, I know a bit of what they say they stand for. But I don’t know enough. And (this does shame me), I don’t pray for them.

With 2012 being an election year, we’re going to hear a lot about current and potential future leaders. (Going to? We already are!) The good, the bad, the ugly, and the impossible – it will all be covered ad nauseum by the media. Some of this has value, but we should take everything we hear and test it against scripture.

The most important thing we can recognize is our own power and ability to influence the direction of our country. I’m not talking about voting. That definitely is a privilege, but prayer is a responsibility. For that reason and for the sake of our country and world, I hope today’s confession becomes a daily practice for me.

I will pray for those in authority.

Okay, so I should be praying for the President, the Vice President, cabinet members (does that include the congress and the house??), Secretaries of State and Defense, and on and on. But what do I pray for these people?

1 Timothy 2:1-3 says, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.”

I’m so thankful when God answers a prayer immediately! By this, I know how important it is to pray for our leaders “so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” Don’t ever forget the power of your talking to God. He’s listening.

Do you pray for national and world leaders? What are your prayers over them?

I will not be ashamed of using my authority

Have you ever tried using your authority and been laughed at? With two littles running everywhere, it happens to me all the time. And as a Christian, it seems to be happening more often than ever before.

This weekend, my God-given authority was challenged when a couple of girls came to my door to talk about the Scriptures. Jehovah’s Witnesses, they knew how to debate any point in the Bible. The problem is that they don’t use the same Bible I use (right now, I’m reading the New Living Translation, but I love the New King James also). They hold to the belief that Jesus is not God, that God is separate from the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus is actually a created being.

DANGER. It actually pained me to hear their beliefs. We agreed to search the Scriptures and talk again later. I’m busy researching, collecting, and cross-referencing, but I will have to rely on an anointing by the Holy Spirit if and when these girls return. I need to use my authority without fear.

I love Paul’s confession to the Corinthian church because it acknowledges the authority God gives us to speak in truth, to lead others in truth, and to live in truth. 2 Corinthians 10:8 says, “… our authority builds you up; it doesn’t tear you down. So I will not be ashamed of using my authority.”

I will not be ashamed of using my authority.

Whenever anyone questions our faith, we need to be ready to explain it in the hope of planting or watering a seed that will lead them to eternal life in Jesus. That kind of authority builds people up, and spoken by the Holy Spirit it demands attention, not laughter.

Whose authority are you using? What is the response when you use it?