A prayer for leaders of all nations.
This is the third of a 5-part devotional series called Stewardship: A Biblical Model For Leadership. Read the first part here.
The following is an adapted excerpt from "Prayers for Xi" by Chuck Garriott.
I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion... By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth. (Proverbs 8:12, 15, 16)
What does it take to carry out daily the work of being President? It takes a great deal of wisdom. There is a general consensus that wisdom is best acquired through many years of education and experience. The nation’s top executive is forced to be pragmatic and relevant to the times and circumstances. Wisdom is an ancient concern.
King Solomon understood what it meant to have his court full of advisors and counselors. They all had education and experience. And for the most part they were helpful. More importantly he understood the need to pursue wisdom from God and encouraged others to do the same.
Writing about his Lord’s wisdom he says, “By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth” (Proverbs 8:15-16). All in authority make laws and govern. Yet, the results of their rule are not necessarily just or healthy. The wisdom to which this ancient king refers is not from education, experience, or counsel. It does not mean that these are ignored, but the conversation is held with someone who not only knows history before it takes place but determines the details of our lives and world. The dialogue needs to be with one who not only understands the macro and micro universe, but also spoke it all into being. Why not have conversations with one whose intellectual ability will leave you speechless? As the Old Testament prophet Isaiah said, “Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor? Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?” (Isaiah 40:13-14).
A healthy administration will see the need to govern with the guidance and direction of God. The Scriptures do not always give us specific answers to complicated issues of state. People equally committed to God and his Word will differ. But the differences will be minor. So, we need to ask for discerning wisdom. But what are the consequences of an administration that seeks and governs with godly wisdom?
Solomon reminds us that the outcome of leading with wisdom is justice (Proverbs 8:15). In the original language, justice conveys the idea of correctness, just balances, integrity and, righteousness. People who are governed with righteous laws and policy experience the great benefits of wisdom: “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold... Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace (Proverbs 3:13, 14, 17).
Imagine living in a society that is known for its pleasant and peaceful ways, a nation where people get along with their neighbors and do not worry about locking their doors at night. The book of Proverbs speaks about a time when people are convinced that the laws are fair and just for everyone—a land of shalom (peace).
The President is in the position of influencing the peace of the nation and the world. Wishful thinking? Perhaps.
It is God we are seeking to give wisdom. He is not distracted or unconcerned. No. Our gracious Lord who is all-wise is sovereign. There is nothing outside his perfect and just control and rule. He is not only the definition of wisdom; he is the definition of righteousness and justice.
We live in a world that hungers for the reality of wise prime ministers and for presidents who govern with laws that reflect our Lord’s justice and righteousness. How then do we pray for the President so that he serves with wisdom?
All wise and sovereign Lord,
You have informed us through King Solomon that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. We live in a time that demands national leadership that is sensitive to the needs and concerns of the people. We are in great need, and the President needs holy wisdom. We ask that the President be sensitive to your Spirit and truth. Help him to hunger for your presence. May he always pursue you. It is our desire to see a humble and attentive president. Keep him and his advisors from evil and distortion. Give him clarity of thought as he leans on the King of kings and Lord of lords. May the nation and the world experience your peace that comes from wise leadership.
For your glory and praise, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Chuck Garriott is the founder and executive director of Ministry to State.