We Must Pray for ALL Politicians

Posted on January 7, 2019


By David Ettinger

Rashida Tlaib

A Distasteful Incident
Last week, Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan referred to President Trump by an expletive too profane to even hint at here. Sadly, many who oppose President Trump lauded the congresswoman’s word choice; Trump supporters condemned it.

With the condemnation came outrage and indignation, which is natural, but also hatred, much of it from Bible-believing Christians. Again, this is understandable, but what should be the offshoot for Bible-believers? Is hatred the right attitude to display in reaction to this galling and distasteful incident?

As Christians, the answer is “no” when it comes to the individual herself, as the Bible mandates us to pray for ALL politicians, particularly for their salvation.

A Convicting Passage
This assertion comes courtesy of an immensely convicting – and tough-to-swallow – passage, 1 Timothy 2:1-4 which instructs us (emphasis added):

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and ALL those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

This is an absolutely loaded passage as penned by the apostle Paul.

Nancy Pelosi

First, regarding those in authority, which definitely includes politicians, notice how Paul puts no limits on the command. We are to pray for ALL of them – not just those who line up politically with us.

Second, by praying for those in authority, we exemplify “peace,” “quiet,” “godliness,” and “holiness.” By praying for those politicians which go against everything we deem sacred, we resist joining the fray of hostility and hatred, instead helping to bring a semblance of peace to society. I am appalled by the Facebook pages of professed Christians who do nothing but malign politicians, many of their posts containing vile words – words Christians should never speak nor display.

Third, and by far the most important, we are to pray for ALL politicians – not that their positions would change to square up with our worldview, but that they might come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Praying for the salvation of politicians is something which pleases God.

Difficult Text
Of course this is a difficult text to accept, but note how Paul takes no account of personal feelings. Please remember that when Paul wrote these words, the Emperor in power was Nero, who was persecuting and killing Christians with abandon. Naturally the first impulse for Christians in that day was to hate Nero and desire his death, but the Lord had something else in mind: He wanted His people to be praying for the ruthless, murderous Emperor.

Chuck Schumer

How much more so should we living in a free society be praying for our politicians who are not laying a finger on us? What if we could convince those opposed to us to accept our worldview, but never accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior? What would we as believers have accomplished? Nothing! Salvation of men and women should be the endgame for all Christians, and this is precisely what the Lord is telling us.

Break the Ice!
Though difficult to do, breaking the ice and praying BY NAME for those who get under our skin will soften us. I began praying for President Obama – and then his wife and two daughters – by name in 2009. I then added the Clintons and other politicians I was miles away from them philosophically. Of course I prayed for wisdom and insight for them, but more than anything, I prayed for their salvation.

The same holds true today. If you love the Lord Jesus and want to obey Him, you need to very specifically be praying for the salvation of Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and so many more. This is what the Lord asks you to do. And by the way, I can tell you from experience that it’s difficult to hate someone whose salvation you are praying for.

And just in case you need another command to convince you, here’s one by Jesus: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). Not an easy proposition, but a proposition put forth from the Lord Himself! May God give us the heart and love to obey Him in all things – even when they don’t sit well with us!