God desires the Church to exert a controlling influence in the affairs of this world through prayer. This is clearly stated in the Scriptures. If the Church fails to do it, the Church has become salt that has lost its savour.
A land in need of healing
Look at the land in which we live. Does it need healing? There is only one answer. Yes!
The fact that the land needs healing indicates that God’s people have failed to do what God told them they should do. The responsibility is with us – not with the people who never darken the door of a church.
Why are God’s people responsible?
Because we are the only people who have the means to accomplish the results. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12 KJV)
This is a revelation of the Word of God that every Christian should know. There is an organised kingdom set up in opposition to God and to all God’s purposes. It is our business as Christians to bring this kingdom down.
It cannot be done by the Prime Minister or Generals, because they do not have the weapons. If it were a question of fighting against flesh and blood, we would turn loose the tanks and armoured cars and the aeroplanes. However, tanks are totally ineffective, because the battle is not against flesh and blood.
You can kill Nazis, but you cannot kill Nazism. You can kill enemy soldiers, but you do not deal with the spiritual forces behind them. But the weapons which God has given us are mighty! They are invincible, if we will use them. If we are defeated, it is not through a lack of armour. It is through the failure to use it.
Pray for the government first
In 1 Timothy 2, the apostle Paul says: “I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Paul says, if you bypass prayer, you can have all sorts of plans, systems and programmes, but you do not have the power to operate them. It is like having a building wired for electricity, but not connected to the generator. Nothing is going to work.
Then, what does he tell us to pray for? First, “for kings and all who are in authority”: the Queen, central government, local councillors, mayors, police commissioners, all. Which did you last do – criticise or pray? If you pray for people in authority, you will have less to criticise.
What are we to pray for in relation to those in authority?
“That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” In one simple phrase: “good government”. Why does God want quietness and order and good government? For a very real and practical reason. Because He desires that all men be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth. A good government helps to propagate the gospel.
Perhaps you feel prompted to take a positive step right now as a response to the call to intercede for your nation. Why not express that desire with the following prayer?
Dear Father, thank you for this reminder to pray for our government. From this day forward, I choose to lift our government and our nation before You, and to stand in the gap on behalf of my people. Please help me to fulfil this responsibility by the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.