How much accountability falls on the Christian for never really praying for our leaders from a pure heart? I don’t mean praying against a particular leader. I mean specifically FOR our leaders. Should this be a consistent part of our prayer life? I more than not seem to forget or neglect this in my own prayer life. Do you think it really matters that much if we do or not? I am interested in hearing others insights. Thank you.
Good question. There are two points I think are worth considering.
First, prayers for leaders is one of the few types of prayers that is especially called for in Bible (2 Timothy 2:1-2, also see Jeremiah 29). Therefore, I definitely think it should be a significant part of our prayer life. The decisions of leaders have significant impact on issues such as justice, peace, and suffering that Christians are called to care about. Additionally, the leader is just another human, whether a brother/sister or unbeliever, that we are called to love, and leaders have a very tough job indeed.
Second, regarding impact or effectiveness, to me this is a much more difficult question to answer. It is obviously linked to the very big question of why pray to an all-powerful, all-knowing, loving God? I do not think this is something the Church, when viewed through the years and diverse traditions, has adopted near unanimous concensus on. A resource I found helpful is the 1981 book, Understandings of Prayer by Perry LeFevre (with views from notable thinkers such as Barth, Tilich, and C S. Lewis). Personally, it is an issue I am still very much exploring. However, the Bible is clear that prayer is an important part of the believers life. As such, regardless of how exactly we understand the influence of prayer, it is enough for me to know that it is commanded for believers. It is one issue I am afraid I personally may not fully comprehend in this life, but continue to seek godly wisdom in.
Duane, it is a very pertinent question in this day of disrespect for our leader. Please look up 1 Peter 2:13-14. Some scholars feel that Peter wrote this when Nero was empower! Regardless of who is in power, we re to pray for our political leaders.
Please watch this 5 minute clip that will underscore the importance of praying for our leaders - regardless of your political bent.
We really need to be in prayer for our country these days. I think your observation and question was very astute.
We must always lray without ceasing