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. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
I’ll be the first to admit that I honestly don’t know how prayer works. Sure, we pray and God moves. Or we pray a lot and God doesn’t move. Or even God moves without us praying at all. All three have happened in my life, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.
But God is clear: he wants us to pray and intercede on behalf of others. Could He move without our prayers? Absolutely. Does He? Sometimes. But that’s not the point. There’s an eternal reason (or many) we pray. We don’t always know the outcome of our prayers. For instance, in these verses, God implores us to pray for those in authority. We will never know how our prayers affected the outcome of situations involving our leaders. We’ll also never know that we should have prayed just once or twice more for that person. How would the outcome have been different if we interceded just a bit more?
So, when the God Almighty tells us through Paul that we should pray for our leaders, we probably should. We don’t know the temptations, pressures, and deadlines they’re under. Then the question becomes, what if that leader is an out and out crook? Should we pray for them then?
I think you know the answer to that question. They are in greater need of our prayers and the Divine Hand of God in their lives. We may not like praying for the corrupt, but the Bible didn’t make a distinction between good leaders and corrupt leaders. In fact, you could make a case that corruption and abuse of power has been going on since the beginning of time, and that our prayers may mean the difference between societal collapse or a thriving society.
So, then, we ought to pray for our leaders.