During his time in office, Justin Trudeau has garnered differing opinions, many of them negative. So far I would do most things differently than he has, but reading Daniel, I am convicted by how little I pray for my country’s leader. Perhaps I can learn something from Daniel on how to respond to our government.
Regardless of beliefs, policies or new bills, our leaders are humans who God loves and is committed to redeeming should they turn to Him.
Daniel would have read this from the prophet Jeremiah:
And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
King Nebuchadnezzer would arguably have won the most vain, violent and unreasonable ruler in his day. History records some of his conquests, and we know from the Bible that he put people to death who refused to bow and worship the image of himself (I know – talk about conceited eh?)
Yet Daniel worked and prayed diligently for the wellbeing of this king who had dragged him into captivity and God used him mightily in the story of the Hebrew people.
Daniel is relentless in prayer. Three times a day. Every day. Under his watch, both gentile rulers Nebuchadnezzer and Darius come to recognize Daniel’s God as “God most High.”
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. This is good and pleases God our Saviour, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. (1 Timothy 2:1-6)
We live in a democratic society and I am among the first to encourage people to work for and petition the government for positive change, and thankfully, when we do, we won’t have our heads removed.
But working for change doesn’t excuse me from petitioning the Ultimate Authority on behalf of the one making the policies I see as destructive. I would argue Divine petition is more effective anyway. What if I begin praying for God’s protection over his mind, and a spirit of wisdom and revelation. For a heart that turns to Jesus for help and salvation. For people to come into government who unwaveringly stand for justice and righteousness.
Who knows how the faithful prayers of one person might change the course of a nation’s history or the life of its leader. If thousands of people would commit to pray for their government perhaps righteousness and peace would rise up and transform the landscape of a barren country and the heart of the leader.
Daniel did. The question is; will I?