• Bishop Courtney Henry

WE NEED TO PRAY FOR OUR LEADERS

The Pandemic Illustrates Why Praying for Our

Government Officials is Necessary

When you pray, who do you include on your prayer list? I am sure that you pray for your loved ones, particularly those who are not saved. No doubt you pray for people that you know personally. You pray for your friends, your pastor (thank you praying for your pastor), and others in the body of Christ. But do you pray for President Trump? I know you just fell off your chair, but please, retake your seat and let me clarify.

This article is not a pro-Trump propaganda piece. Indeed, those of you who know me are aware that I am not one of those people who are impressed by his embrace of the church. Also, I am not one somebody who would support him in protest to the democrats taking people like me for granted. An objective analysis of how Trump operates reveals that he likely decided to be a champion of the church as a matter of convenience. We won’t even get into a debate of whether the president is saved or not. Jesus told us that we would recognize them by their fruit. I can’t think of anything this president has done that I agree with. Yet I still say that I will pray for the president. Why? Because the Bible says tell me so.

The Apostle Paul said the following, “First of all then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, For kings and all who are in authority or high responsibility, that (outwardly) we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life (and inward) a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, Amp Classic).

Essentially, Paul told us to pray for government leaders because their decisions impact us. And, when we look at the impact of the pandemic, we can see why Paul gave us the instruction.

The record shows that there is a stark difference, in terms of how hard Covid-19 hit a region, between countries whose leaders took the health threat seriously and took decisive action, and those countries who leaders did not. Let’s take South Korea as an example. South Korea identified their first case of coronavirus around the same time as the first case was confirmed the US. South Korea’s leaders quickly moved to implement stay at home protocols, social distancing, widespread testing and contact tracing. South Korea has had a grand total of 11 Covid-19 deaths. We know what happened in the US.

Columbia University recently compiled and issued a model gauging transmission rates of Covid-19 in the US. The model shows that implementing stay at home protocols two weeks earlier would likely have prevented 84% of the deaths. While Trump fiddled, the country was burning.

And I am not simply picking on President Trump. One can do a similar comparison within the United Sates. A recent article in the English newspaper, The Guardian, pointed out that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was slow to respond to the threat of the virus, which resulted in New York becoming the US epicenter of the pandemic. Contrast that with California, where Gov. Gavin Newsome moved swiftly. While both California and New York are very populous states, California, with a little less than 4,000 deaths, has fared far better than New York has, with over 29,000 deaths.

The point is there are so many things over which we have no direct control that has an impact on our lives, and we cannot assume that the decision makers will have the interests of the people at heart. What can we do about it? Aside from voting, our greatest influence will be through prayer. Of course, not solely prayer. There are times we have petition authority. But Paul’s directive certainly speaks to the need for us to influence our leaders’ hearts through our connection to God.

Over the last few years, I have taken to ask the Lord to “walk down the corridors of power,” to touch the hearts of the decision-makers. Even if I have extraordinarily little confidence in the person in the big seat, I ask the Lord to put some wisdom in the vicinity. I ask the Lord to give leaders God ideas.

So, pray for the governor. Pray for the mayor and the leader of the city council. Pray for President Trump. Pray that wisdom will be somewhere in his orbit and that wisdom prevail.

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