Do you struggle with knowing how to pray for the leaders of your country? You’re not alone. I feel anxious and hopeless even thinking about it. Sometimes I just don’t know how to pray or don’t believe my prayers are making a difference. As we head into an important federal election year here in Canada, I feel that weight even more. I know in my head that praying for our country’s leadership is crucial, but my heart still needs some convincing. To help expand my perspective on the subject, I decided to speak with an expert.
I recently chatted with Darlene McLean, Director of Power to Change’s ministry Christian Embassy. She is spunky, passionate, and a genuine joy to chat with. Darlene and her husband serve in Ottawa where she, along with six others, make up the dedicated staff team of this 35-year-old ministry. “Christian Embassy is a ‘walk-with-me’ ministry,” she says. “We’re sowing seeds and empowering Christian leaders to take greater steps of faith right where they are. This takes creativity, collaboration, and networking.” In her experience serving the nations’ leaders, Darlene knows this also takes constant prayer!
My most profound ‘aha’ moment during our conversation was when Darlene addressed the ‘why bother’ behind our prayers. She draws guidance from 1 Timothy 2:1-2: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
The bible clearly outlines the practice of praying “for kings and all those in authority” and Darlene emphasizes that the word ‘urge’ is of great importance here. It’s not a passing request. The writer was trying to catalyze something in his readers. Why? Because when we pray for those in authority, we are contributing to a culture in which we can thrive. It’s an environment where people might be more prone to coming to Jesus. This has huge implications for our nation.
“The stakes are high,” Darlene states honestly about this upcoming election. “God is calling us to pray at all times, constantly. Nations are changed because of ‘who’ we pray to.” That’s why our prayers matter.
If you’re like me, you might be thinking, “This is all convincing stuff, but I still don’t know how to pray!” Below is a brief list of suggestions from Darlene on how to pray for our government, especially in this upcoming season:
- The campaign is a very intense time for most candidates, their families, and campaign teams. Please pray for stamina, health, wisdom, and protection (physical, mental, spiritual) for all involved.
- For Canadians to awaken from apathy, recognize the importance of becoming informed, and to vote intelligently.
- Good people need great teams — please pray for more campaign volunteers!
- For the media to seek truth and publicize facts — they have a huge influence on voters.
- Pray that God-fearing leaders of integrity get voted in, to promote God’s principles and purposes.
If this conversation sparked something in you, here are a few ways you can explore further: