What is the Biblical connection between church and government?
How do you feel about America? Our government? Our leaders?
In my lifetime I have been so filled with rage at certain presidents that I would have to withdraw from political news updates. At other times I have been critical and made fun of those in authority of our nation. Our country’s situation seemed hopeless. I reasoned in my mind that America had been given over to a reprobate mind mentioned in Romans 1:28 “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” The previous passage (vs 18-27) detailing why God gave these unrighteous people over to their minds seemed to fit America and the world in general perfectly. However, my very passive viewpoint was simply an excuse. It took the pressure and conviction off me to actively engage with the problem.
In Derek Prince’s book, Secrets of a Prayer Warrior, he mentions what the bible says about the first subject the church should pray for-the government. Honestly, although I knew our church encouraged praying for our nation, I did not understand it’s power or importance. And of all the things to pray for first, I would never have guessed Paul would obligate prayer for the government. Let us take a moment to dissect the passage and later see references to how powerful corporate prayers are as well as sample prayers to pray.
In Paul’s first book to Timothy, we see in chapter 2 verses 1-4:
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
4 Things About Corporate Prayer
1. It is our first public ministry as a church.
Above music, preaching, knocking on doors, lights and sound, interior design, or feeding the poor, our first action should be prayer. Nothing else matters if we haven’t sought God first.
2. We are to pray for all people.
All means all. Most of us have probably struggled in the past with not wanting to pray for a certain person or group but there is never a Biblical reason why we shouldn’t pray for anyone.
3. We should pray for our government first.
Of all the people we could pray for first, God says we should pray for those in authority over us. If you are like me and are puzzled by such a request, God graciously give us his reasoning in the following phrase.
4. We should pray for good government.
a. God does not say we should curse, ridicule, or criticize our government but pray for them.
b. The bible says a good government is one who lets its people “live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” This is the exact goal we should have when praying for our government.
c. We should pray for good government because it is good to God, it is the will of God, and it allows the gospel to be preached and brings the kingdom of heaven to earth.
The effects of corporate prayer mention in the bible
The evidence to the power of corporate prayer in Acts 12 is more than sufficient to change our perspectives on the topic. Herod was king, James was dead, and Peter was in jail. Because of Passover, there were many Jewish visitors in town so Herod decided that to prevent a riot, he would wait until after the holiday. Herod beefed up security to where Peter was chained to two guards and two more guarded the door. But while Peter was awaiting persecution and certain death, “constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.”
And this is when things get crazy!
Awaiting his death, being literally bound to two guards, and guarded by two more, an angel came into the cell, struck Peter, and told him to get up. Peter’s chains then fell and he was instructed to get dressed. As he is leaving the prison, Peter reasonably believes he might be dreaming but before the angel departs from him, he opens the gates to the city for Peter to leave and find safety. No soldiers, chains, guards, or iron gates were a match for our God! Peter could have focused on his surroundings and argued with the angel how it was not possible to escape, but by faith, Peter followed the angel. I encourage you to let God oversee the “how” in your life. We only need to obey.
Without the church interceding for Peter’s rescue, we would not have 1 or 2 Peter.
The church literally called an angel down to rescue Peter. What power! Glory to God!
Now understanding the calling, purpose, and power of corporate prayer, could it be that we don’t see God moving in America because we haven’t asked Him to? God forgive us. What a more fitting reference to describe us as 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” With the power, authority, and will of the Almighty, it’s time we come together as a people and pray for this great nation.
Prayers We Can Pray For Our Government
In general, we should pray for our leaders’ wisdom and salvation. We should pray that they would be surrounded by godly counsel and coworkers.
Derek Prince shares his simple prayer the Holy Spirit gave him that quite literally changed the course of WWI:
“Lord give us leaders such that it will be for your glory to give us victory through them.”
Additional resources for sample prayers:
Prayer Guide: How to Pray for Our Country's Leaders:
Send notes of encouragement to your leaders in government:
How to pray for your government leaders: