Seth Udinski, FISM News
In three days, United States politicians will gather in the Capitol building for the annual National Prayer Breakfast.
Congress will host Thursday’s festivities, at which the President and Vice President will likely be in attendance. According to Axios, the prayer breakfast, which was formerly put on by the International Foundation, will now be under the guidance of the National Prayer Breakfast Foundation, spearheaded by former Democratic Senator Mark Pryor of Arizona.
Pryor said recently, “As with many other things in our country, the COVID years allowed the Members to hit the reset button and organize a working group to fulfill this longtime vision.” He further added that the 2023 gathering will be a time for congressional members “to come together and pray for the president, pray for his family and administration, pray for our government, the world.”
The annual event, while consistently drawing controversy with respect to the separation of church and state, is a longstanding tradition in America. According to Axios, every President to sit in the White House since Dwight Eisenhower in 1953 has made it part of their duties to attend.
While the event has been something of an international affair for many years, Pryor hopes to bring it “back to its roots.” He said,
That’s what Congress wants, they want to take it back to its origins and in the early days it really was just the Congress and the president.
Author’s Biblical Analysis
While the National Prayer Breakfast can be a topic of controversy for Christians, it should remind us of a vital truth that applies to all of us who sit under the authority of a political leader.
We must pray fervently for our political leaders, no matter how we feel about them.
Let me be transparent with you: I do not always enjoy or look forward to praying for people that I do not like. It is especially difficult when said people are in authority over me, making laws on how to spend my tax dollars, and doing seemingly everything they can to promote an agenda based on a worldview that I despise.
But the Bible tells us that this does not matter. We are still to pray for our political leaders.
God, in His sovereignty, has raised up certain men for certain times to accomplish His purposes. He has done this throughout history.
As one example, he raised up a wicked Pharaoh who enslaved the Israelites, so that He could show His mighty salvific power (Exodus 8-11, Romans 9). I can imagine the people of Israel were not pleased to serve under such a wicked man, but God was orchestrating all things for His glory. He put His full glory on display at the expense of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, decimating them with ten plagues and ushering his people into freedom.
God has put whomever He pleases in charge. It is not for us to determine this. It is our duty instead to pray for these men and women in charge.
How can we pray for wicked political leaders?
I believe the answer is simple. We should pray for their salvation. Additionally, we should pray for that salvation to bear the fruit of politicians who lead our nation into obedience to God. We should pray that our leaders would lead with humility and courage, knowing that they too serve an Authority that is much higher than they could ever be.
So believer, no matter how annoyed you get at them, you must pray for those in authority. Let it serve as a witness to your own submission to the ultimate Authority, God Almighty.
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-14