“For every look at self – take ten looks at Christ.”
Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843)
The quotation above has nothing to do with the subject matter of this post. However I believe there is an important principle revealed in it that applies to everything: prioritise priorities. McCheyne noted that when we think of our salvation, we ought to, by weight and consideration, think more on Christ than ourselves. And so, in terms of all matters of faith and conduct, we must consider our first duties and always be returning to them.
As the (Canadian) federal election approaches and as we reflect on the governors of our land in general, we may feel that we have something of value to say to our neighbours. However, there will be or is a temptation to overly criticise and even unlawfully denigrate our elected officials. Indeed, I regularly see posts on Facebook by Christians that violate the letter and spirit of such passages Romans 13:7 & 1 Peter 2:17.
More importantly, I wonder if we spend as much time in prayer for our earthly governors as we do complaining about them. So consider this a challenge: for every criticism of government, make ten prayers for them. Even better, before you write or speak out against something you don’t agree with, pray about it first. Then do so if you are still inclined.
Here are ten suggestions for your prayers, with scripture references for reflection:
1) Pray for those who bear witness of Christ’s name to rulers (Acts 9:15).
2) Pray for their salvation (1 Timothy 2:4).
3) Pray that they would submit to the Son (Psalm 2:12 cf. vs. 10).
4) Pray that they would uphold the kingdom of God in their respective sphere (Isaiah 49:23).
5) Pray that they would publicly recognise “the King of heaven” (Daniel 4:37).
6) Pray that they would lead the nation in repentance (Ezra 8:21 cf. Jonah 3:5-9).
7) Pray for the peace of the land through their rule (Jeremiah 29:7).
8) Pray that justice would be established (Romans 13:4).
9) Pray that you would honour them as you should (1 Peter 2:17).
10) Pray that you would submit yourself to “every ordinance of man” (1 Peter 2:13).