“1I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2Pray 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 Timothy 2:1-2 NLT (emphasis added)
Acts Chapter 13:
The Holy Spirit sent the Apostle Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey away from Jerusalem to the island of Cyprus. When they reached the town of Paphos, they encountered a Jewish sorcerer named Bar-Jesus (Elymas in the Greek). He was also known in the Bible as a false prophet who was very close to the governor. Elymas interfered with the witness of Paul and Barnabas by keeping them away from the governor. Elymas feared that the governor was a very intelligent man and may become a believer if told the truth about Jesus. Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit and stared Elymas down; then called upon God to strike the man blind so they could continue their mission. His prayer was answered instantly and the man was blinded. Elymas begged for bystanders to lead him away from the embarrassing scene.
Evidently the governor was watching the whole thing from a safe distance. He was so shocked by what he saw that he became a believer in Jesus. He had not heard the Gospel teaching about Jesus before this time; or had discounted it as being untrue.
This is a great example of why we should pray for our leaders. Prayer changes things, Amen? Not only will things get better in our nation, but as a result of prayers and spiritual support, some leaders may become believers like the governor of Paphos. Do not be discouraged that all of our leaders do not become believers. Leave that in God’s hands. That is what Paul had to do later in the town of Caesarea. Paul had been arrested in Jerusalem and after declaring himself to be a Roman Citizen, Paul demanded a trial in Rome.
Acts Chapters 23 & 24:
While being transported as a prisoner to Rome, Paul was taken as far as Caesarea and left there in prison to await further passage to Rome.
In the meantime, Paul was able to witness about Jesus to Governor Felix and his Jewish wife, Drusilla. Now Felix was very familiar with the Gospel of Christ, and he became fearful of Paul. Instead of embracing the Lord Jesus as his Savior, Felix sent Paul back to his prison cell. Two years passed, until Felix was replaced by Porcius Festus. The new governor also heard Paul’s legal defense as well as Paul’s testimony of Jesus; as did the visiting King Agrippa, and the king’s sister, Bernice. In summation, Paul literally gave an altar call to the Governor and royal guests,
“27King Agrippa, do you believe in the prophets? I know you do – “
28Agrippa interrupted him. “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?”
29Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains.”
30Then the king, the governor, Bernice, and all the others stood and left.
~ Acts 26:27-30 NLT
So not everyone will immediately embrace our testimony as truth when we witness – even our leaders; but we can still pray for them, as Paul did.
It is importantstuff to pray for our leaders. Why?
3This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For,
5There is one God, and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity – the man Christ Jesus. 6He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.
~I Timothy 2:3-4 NLT
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Feature Photo Credit: Capitol Hill Building, Washington DC – © Can Stock Photo / rabbit75can
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