Parents, pastors, police, politicians, parking attendants, project managers—people with power that place expectations upon you. Everyone is answerable to someone else. We would love to say that we are answerable only to God, but what does God say about being accountable to others?

Jesus says that we are to give to Caesar what is owed. Paul says:

1 Timothy 2:
First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. Such prayer for all is good and welcomed before God our Savior, since he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time. For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle—I am telling the truth; I am not lying—and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. So I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or dispute.

God wants to hear us pray respectfully for all who have authority in our lives. Praying for them gives us a peaceful, quiet, godly, dignified life. God also wants to save them and guide them into truth.

The verse about there being one intermediary between God and humanity reminds us that ultimately Jesus is above all earthly names, titles and authority.

When the church can pray with lifted hands without anger and dispute God is pleased. He wants to use his Church to change the heart of those who rule over us. We cannot experience God’s best if we constantly resist those who have a say over us. We can make wise appeals to God on their behalf.

Prayer Prompts

1.     Thank God for the freedom, provision and order that we have experienced at the hands of those in power. Name specific examples for what has been provided to you.

2.     Starting with the generation that raised you, give thanks and name those who did something right in caring for you. Honour those who gave direction and brought truth into your experience. (Parents, spiritual mentors, pastors, employers, teachers, counsellors, social workers, etc.)

3.     As you come to authority figures that you distrust, dislike, oppose or resent ask God to examine your heart and pray for their salvation and godly wisdom to direct their affairs. Pray for each other to grow in respect and honour.

4.     Pray for governing officials by name (mayor, city council, community agencies (BIA, CAS, Neighbourhood Committees, Police, EMS, hospitals, doctors, provincial and federal leaders, world leaders)

5.     Think about any way that you have a position of trust in the lives of others. Are there people that look up to you for direction, provision and to get a job done? Ask God to guide you toward knowing the truth and acting wisely and compassionately toward those whom you serve.