Praying for Our Leaders
Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son.
Psalm 72 is identified as a “psalm of Solomon” (72:1). This means either that it was composed by Solomon or in his honor. This psalm is a prayer for the king of Israel, a request for the Lord to guide and bless him.
Reading Psalm 72 as Christians in the twenty-first century, we rightly see foreshadowing of the kingship of Jesus. The vision of the king who saved the poor and needy was perfected in Jesus.
Psalm 72 can also encourage us to pray for our leaders. Though we don’t have a king in the United States, we do have a President and a Congress. They need our prayers today every bit as much as the king of Israel did centuries ago.
In particular, this psalm guides us to pray that our leaders might be given God’s love of justice. In fact, the Hebrew of Psalm 72:1 asks that the king be given, not just God’s love of justice, but God’s justice. We should ask the Lord to give our leaders divine wisdom to discern what justice means in our day. With so many varied and conflicting visions of justice, our leaders need God’s perspective and guidance.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How often do you pray for your national leaders? Do you find it more natural to complain about your leaders than to pray for them? If so, why? What might help you to remember to pray for your leaders?
PRAYER: Today, Lord, I am reminded to pray for our leaders in Washington.
I ask you to bless and guide our President and the members of his administration. May they have wisdom to discern what your justice requires. May they have courage to seek what is right no matter how popular or unpopular it may be.
Similarly, I ask you to bless the leaders in Congress, both Senators and Representatives and their staff. Give them a passion for your truth and justice. Help all of our leaders in Washington, in all branches of our government, to put aside petty partisanship in an effort to seek and to do what’s right.
In these days, I pray in particular that you will give our leaders wisdom when it comes to the Middle East. Help them to see what your justice would require, and how we can be faithful stewards to the resources and power you have entrusted to our nation.
Through the leaders of our country, Lord, may your justice and righteousness prevail in this country and throughout the world. Amen.
Image courtesy of Laity Lodge, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.