The Bible tells Christians to pray for those in positions of authority. Such authorities include government officials (international, national, and local) and pastors, church elders, school boards, school principals, employers, and the like. There is an underlying principle behind this:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God (Romans 13:1).
This applies even when the authorities are cruel, unjust and persecute God’s people. Even when the Israelites were in exile, God told them to pray for their Babylonian captors:
Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper (Jeremiah 29:7).
Here is an important Bible verse about such prayers:
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 Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
When those in authority are obeying the will of God, it is easier to “live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:2). But when evil men are in authority, our prayers for them are just as needed, as illustrated by William Tyndale’s last words as he was being burned at the stake:
“Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.”
When Christians pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is done in heaven, that prayer should include Governments, rulers and those in authority. God will deal with those who go against His will and they will answer to Him for their deeds. Our part is to lead peaceful and godly lives so that we are pleasing to God.