Americans are watching the start of a new presidential term with very different reactions: some are celebrating and hopeful while others are angry or even afraid. Regardless of your opinions about a particular leader, Scott Sauls says it’s important to remember that God is always in control and He calls us to pray for our leaders.
“In the context of a very oppressive regime under Caesar, Paul says we need to submit to and seek to be the best citizens of Rome. He who resists and rebels against the authority of Rome rebels against God–who for His own sovereign purposes put that person in that position. (Romans 13)”
Praying for an earthly leader can also help us examine our own hearts. in a way it is a spiritual gut-check.
“Should we really put our hope in any human being ultimately? Or should we really fall into deep, deep despair because of any human being being put in a position of power? Is Jesus still on His throne and does Jesus still hold the hearts of all kings in His hands? Is Jesus still orchestrating history–His story?”
“Regardless of what side we are on politically in this contentious election cycle, we need to move forward and pray for our new president. To hope for a society that flourishes well, that serves the common good–the good of all people and not just some.”
The Bible gives us solid examples to follow, such as David, Daniel, and Joseph, who remained respectful toward their earthly leaders, even when they had to stand up against their unrighteousness. Pastor Sauls says turning to God’s word is key to shaping our citizenship.
“We’ve allowed ourselves (many of us) to be discipled by partisan politics instead of being discipled by Scripture, and the pictures of dignity and respect, and also speaking truth to power in the context of dignity and respect.”
“The Scriptures not only give us examples, but command us morally. It’s a moral command to show respect for our leaders; it’s not an option. Any time we resist that, we’re resisting God. And as we are resisting God, we’re also not doing much for our own flourishing or for the good of society.”
Scott Sauls is Senior Minister of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Previously, Scott was a lead and preaching pastor for Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, where he worked alongside Dr. Timothy Keller. Scott has authored two books: and
Praying for a president, Scott Sauls