We Should Not ‘Pray’ For Corrupt And Wicked Leaders–By Ayobami Oyalowo

Posted: July 12, 2012 in General

1 Timothy 2: 1-5

‘’I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.’’

I have often heard the admonition; “let us pray for our leaders…. blah blah”. The passage copiously quoted above is what most people draw inspiration from when they ask us to pray. And pray we shall. But how many have ever stopped to understand what manner of prayers we are asked to pray? In verse 2 it says that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. We shall examine that later.

What is prayer? the dictionary defines it as “a devout petition to God or an object of worship”. Another defined it as “the act of communication with a deity”. So we can safely assume that prayer is talking or communing with God. Which suggests that we can tell God whatever our petitions and heart desires are. Many go about praying without first understanding or studying what should be the content of those prayers. If God is our father and we can safely communicate with him, are we now precluded from telling him some things? Prayer is not a lazy or last resort or some medium of escapism. Prayer is serious business. In prayer, we commune with our maker and we hold nothing back. Prayer was never designed to take the place of mental or physical application.

I intend to move seamlessly between the Old and New Testaments and will base my aphorisms on Matthew 5:17-19–”Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven”

Jesus did not ask us to abolish the Old Testament, rather he has fulfilled the law in himself thereby excluding us from the Leviticus requirement of rituals and ablutions. However, we are still subject to both the old and the new because the old is the shadow of things to come. 2 Peter 1: 20-21 says “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

Now talking about godliness and honesty, True leaders are supposed to be honest and godly and if they are not, we read in Isaiah 10:1 – 2: “Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!”

So for such leaders, what should be the contents of our prayers? We read in Isaiah 6: 1: In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple”. So until the evil king Uzziah died, Isaiah never saw the Lord! Make your extrapolations if you may.

Progressing to the new testament in Acts chapter 12, we read that the wicked King Herod seized and killed James, after which he also arrested and planned to kill Peter. But in verse 5 we read that prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him and from verse 7, an angel of God appeared and saved Peter. But in that same chapter in verse 23 and 24 we read: “And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost”. And in verse 24 we read that “the word of God grew and multiplied”. Any correlation between Uzziah and Herod? What was the content of the prayer of the church? Make your assumptions but remember this is the New Testament and those were the original apostles who were with Jesus himself in the flesh and were the first recipients of the baptism of the Holy Spirit after he was taken away in their presence.

We have been conditioned by modern day prosperity preachers to be docile and not challenge the status quo. What they wont tell you is that many of them prefer the status quo because it enables them to get illegal waivers at the port. A certain William Tyndale (1492-1536) challenged the authorities of his time. he translated the bible and in fact copied the new testament and made it available. He was later arrested and strangled to death, while his body was burned at the stakes. His sin was that he challenged the authority of the church which also doubled as the government of his time. Without him, we might not have had the bible today as only the Pope and leading figures had access to Scriptures at the time and people were required to live by their dictates without questioning.

Martin Luther(10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546), was the German priest cum monk who disagreed with the demands of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulting in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor. Contrary to the widely held belief of his time, Luther taught that salvation is not earned by good deeds but received only as a free gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge and opposed ‘sacredotalism’ which considered all baptized Christians to be of a holy priesthood. He also translated the bible from Latin, making it more accessible to a wider variety of readers.

But our modern day Prosperity preachers who ride in motorcades longer than even those of some Heads of States would rather we sit down, do nothing, but pray to God to come down. Their battle cry daily is ‘’give and it shall be given unto you”. How much did Obed Edom give God in 2 Samuel 6: 10-11 before God blessed him and his household? I am not saying don’t give. All I ask is for us to be sensible and careful about whom we listen to. These men are so loud and garrulous that many of them are now tin gods, forgetting that Jesus Christ himself was so inconspicuous and meek, it took an insider for his accusers to be able to differentiate and identify him amongst his disciples, before he was arrested.

A word for these so called preachers. Jeremiah 8: 10 – 13: “Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely. For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.”

In conclusion, Prayer is a communion between you and your maker and I dare say during your prayer time, you are free to tell him what you feel.: Remember Proverbs 11:10: “When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy” and finally, Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O man, what is good”. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love, be merciful and to walk in humility with your God. Do not be deceived, your prayer time is your personal time; be honest: tell God to deal with unrepentant criminals. Being in Government is no reason to be immune from justice. Only righteousness can exalt a nation. The contents of our prayers should not be filled with lies. We should rather tell God in a no-holds barred manner, our problems, and leave him to do as he pleases. Remember the same God of love is also revealed in the scripture as a consuming fire.

The Writer is on Twitter @Ayourb

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