Many Christians always seem to have trouble putting into practice
the Apostle Paul’s message to Timothy that …”requests, prayers intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority…” Now it isn’t so difficult to do that if the President happens to be a member of a conservative political party, but what if he happens to be a left-wing liberal who opposes
many of the things Christians hold dear? Why are we supposed to pray for that kind of President? Now if you will notice, Paul’s statement says that we are to pray “FOR” him and not against him. The reason for this demand by the Apostle Paul is “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (I Timothy 2:2).
Last week I discovered another reason to pray for our President. It seems that the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was in New York visiting the United Nations assembly. While he was here our President had a 15 minute phone conversation with him that included his concern about three American citizens who have been imprisoned within Iran—Robert Levinson, Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati—and expressed his wishes to see them reunited with their families in the United States. If you will recall, I have been asking you to pray for Saeed Abedini’s release from prison for months. And across this nation more than half a million people have signed a petition for his release. Our Secretary of State, John Kerry, issued a statement calling for Abedini’s release back in March, and the White House issued a statement early this last summer pressing for the pastor’s release. And now President Obama has personally intervened in his behalf.
If Pastor Abedini is finally released from prison you will have another reason to praise God and to be thankful for our President (if you find that last part hard to do, please reread the opening statement of my article again). In fact, Naghmeh Abedini (Saeed’s wife) said, “This is the most encouraging news I have heard since Saeed was imprisoned one year ago. I am very grateful to President Obama for standing up for Saeed and for the other Americans who are held captive in Iran.” Now if you still have difficulty praying for our President you may need to read the next verse in 2nd Timothy, chapter 2, which says, “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (v. 3). Let us not allow a conservative party spirit to dictate who and what we pray for. As Christians we are directed to a different path—one that includes everyone in our prayer lives.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship