How Can We Pray For Them?

Q. Could you please school me on the dilemma that is presented in the bible i.e. If we are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem yet (in this day and age) we know that violence and all kinds of bad things are to come upon that people and city in order for the plan to come to fruition as He says.

And what about praying for our leaders? I find it almost impossible to do when it seems that (our leaders) were put into power because of what we as a nation deserve. I don’t really know what to say about this.

A. In several places the Bible hints that prayer can change things. In the Book of Jonah the whole city of Nineveh went to prayer and God delayed the scheduled judgment for 100 years until subsequent generations had fallen back into idolatry. When you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, you’re asking the opposite. You’re praying that the Lord will accelerate His coming and execute His plan quickly, because peace won’t come to Jerusalem until He does. I think you’re also praying that in wrath He will remember mercy (Habakkuk 3:2).

As for praying for our leaders, here’s what Paul said,

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. (1 Tim. 2:1-4).

Paul was advising us to intercede on behalf of our leaders, that they would be saved and develop a relationship with Him. The end times judgments will surely come, but no individual is doomed to suffer them unless he or she fails to accept God’s offer of pardon while there’s time.

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