By Bob Thiel
This is the fifth part of a multi-part series on prayer. It has been said that, “The Church of God goes forward on its knees.” This has basically been used as an admonition to tell Christians that they need to pray. But how? In the previous articles, prayer was defined, and twenty-one tips were discussed. In this article, two additional tips, starting with what we will call tip number twenty-two are covered.
Tip Number 22: Pray for Secular Leaders
In the Old Testament, some leaders asked for God’s people to pray for them, and they did (1 Kings 13:6; Ezra 6:8-10). 40 What about the New Testament? While some people believe that the problems humanity has would be best solved by voting or rioting, the Bible says we need to pray for our secular leaders and those in the government who have authority over aspects of our lives. 1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior (1 Timothy 2:1-3). Many of us face complications with governmental officials and their policies. Are you praying for them like you should? As far as international governmental matters go, the Bible also says to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalms 122:6).
Tip 23: Put Jesus in Your Prayers
There is only one name under heaven by which we can be saved: Jesus (Acts 4:10,12). We need to put Jesus in our prayers. This does not mean that we are mainly to pray to Jesus, though that can be done (e.g. Acts 7:59), we need to realize that we can come to the Father because of what Jesus has done for us. The Book of Hebrews teaches: 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16) We can, and should, come boldly before the throne of grace, because of Jesus. Notice also what Jesus taught: 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14) Are there limits? Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote: 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 2:5) 1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1) If you have repented, been baptized, and received God’s Holy Spirit, the blood of Jesus has washed you clean (Revelation 1:5). If you will truly imitate Jesus, you can do all things through Him. Try to be and think like Jesus. The Apostle John wrote: 23 Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. (John 16:23) Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we should pray, ask the Father, in Jesus name/authority. I normally close my prayers by asking for all I prayed for in the name/authority of Jesus, in accordance with God’s will. Jesus is the only mediator between humankind and God (1 Timothy 2:5): do not pray to/ through His mother or others.
More information on prayer can be found in our booklet Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach?