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
By SCOTTY SMITH
Heavenly Father, it’s Presidents’ Day in our nation—a perfect day for praying these words from the apostle Peter. As I meditate on this passage, I stand convicted of how little I’ve interceded for our past presidents, and how very little I pray with joy for our current president. Forgive me, and by the power of the gospel, give me a better attitude.
I’m humbled to realize that when Peter wrote this letter, 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. You’ve already installed your Son as king (Psalm 2); and Jesus’ kingdom has come and will come in fullness—hallelujah. No other king would die to make rebels (like me) his beloved.
Father, I haven’t been living with confidence that you set up and sit down kings, presidents, premiers, and governors at your bidding. For the past several years, I’ve assumed the posture of an arrogant critic and irritated citizen, rather than a man of faith and faithful prayer. I repent.
Father, 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 to show proper respect to everyone, including our President. Grant him wisdom beyond his experience and a heart directed by your hand. Bless his family, make the gospel real to him, and surround him with mature, healthy, seasoned leaders. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ glorious and grace-full name.