Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. 1 Pet. 2:13-17
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior. 1 Tim. 2:1-3
Dear heavenly Father, these Scriptures convict me—they expose my unbelief, my lack of prayer and my bad attitude. I stand convicted of how little I’ve prayed for our past presidents and how very little I pray with faith for our sitting president. Forgive me, and by the power of the gospel, give me a better attitude.
I confess, I’ve been more of a cynic than your servant with respect to supporting our government. I haven’t been living with the confidence that you set up and sit down kings, presidents, premiers, and governors at your bidding. At times, I’ve been more irritated by the Oval Office than comforted by the occupied throne of heaven.
In many ways, I’m one of the “foolish men” Peter wrote about in this passage—someone whose “ignorant talk” should be silenced by the gospel. Show me what “doing good” looks like as a dual citizen of the United States and the kingdom of God. Show me how to use my freedom wisely and how I’m to show proper respect to everyone, including our president. You’re not calling me to be passive, but neither are you calling me to be a pest or a pessimist.
Father, I’m ashamed and humbled to realize that when Peter and Paul wrote their letters, the megalomaniac Nero was the sitting “president” in Rome. It’s obvious that Peter lived with more faith in the King of Kings than fear of the madman of madmen. Help me to do the same, Father; help me to do the same.
Lord Jesus, yours is only everlasting kingdom, and you are the only King worthy of my unqualified submission and obedience. I honor you as my King. I worship you as my Savior. I love you as my Bridegroom. So very Amen I pray in your name—the name above all names.