Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. 1 Pet. 2:13-17
Heavenly Father, it’s Presidents’ Day in America—the perfect day for taking to heart these words from the apostle Peter. As I meditate on this passage, I stand convicted of how much more I’ve vexed, stewed, and judged leaders than I’ve prayed for them. At times, irritation and cynicism come easier than prayer. Forgive me, and by the power of the gospel, give me a better attitude.
It’s humbling to realize that when Peter wrote this letter, the megalomaniac Nero was the sitting emperor in Rome. Peter obviously lived with more faith in the King of kings than fear of the madman of madmen.
And with good reason, for you’ve already installed your Son as king of the universe, Father (Psalm 2). Jesus’ kingdom has come and will come in fullness one Day. Jesus is the only king who died to make rebels, like us, his beloved people and Bride.
Father help us live with more confidence that you still “set up and sit down” kings and presidents, premiers and governors at your bidding. And show us what “doing good” looks like as dual citizens of our country and your kingdom.
Help us use our freedom wisely, and to show proper respect to everyone, including our President. Grant him wisdom beyond his experience and a heart directed by your hand. Bless his family, make the gospel real to him. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ glorious and grace-full name.