The apostle Paul urges young Timothy to lead his church in praying for their leaders. And so should we pray for those who lead us. Specifically, Timothy and his church were to pray that their leaders would lead in such a way that their people know peace, are treated with dignity, and are enabled to express what Paul calls “godliness.” The old prayer book said it by praying that we “might be godly and quietly governed.” This is still a great guide to prayer as we think about our leaders this election cycle.
So we pray with an eye on situations where people are not treated with dignity, where the exercise of faith is threatened, where there is anger and strife. And in so doing pray for leaders to be set in place who will restore peace and dignity and quiet.
But there’s more. By means of elections, ordinary people in this country get to help decide who will govern them. This was a privilege unimaginable to Timothy’s people. But we can vote. So we can also pray for wisdom to exercise our vote in a way that helps to answer the prayer for dignity, peace and quiet – and helps to bring change where change is necessary.