The first regular session of the 57th Oklahoma State Legislature is underway. The largest freshman class of legislators in Oklahoma’s history join business-outsider-turned-governor, Kevin Stitt, for a historic legislative session. There is new energy and optimism in the capitol.
Beginning in 2017, God planted a ministry of prayer, pastoral care, and teaching the Bible among Oklahoma’s elected leaders. The ministry is founded upon 1 Tim. 2:1-4. “First of all, then, I urge you to pray for all men, for kings and those in authority, giving thanks and making intercession. So that you may lead lives of quiet godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Paul wrote that God sent Jesus to the world to save sinners because no one is beyond the saving power of the Gospel. As his followers, we are to join Him in this one great mission of sharing the good news of the power of God through Jesus Christ. These four verses tell us where to begin.
For the cause of Christ who saves, we do not rely on strength or might, people or nations, economics or politics. Instead, we trust in greatest resource imaginable: prayer. It is available to us at any moment and anywhere on earth. Paul longed for the people of God to take hold of the power of prayer and begin by praying for our leaders.
Remember that God turns His ear toward you every time you pray. God wants everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Here are a few ways to pray during this legislative session.
Pray for newly-elected leaders. With 46 first-time members in the House and 12 in the Senate, we are in the first days of new beginnings, new leadership, new opportunities and also unknown new challenges. The challenges are complex, but by God’s wisdom and leaning not on their own understanding, may they find solutions. The trials before them are real, but by God’s power they will produce endurance and strength for future storms.
Pray for a culture of grace and civility at the Capitol. Proverbs goes to great lengths to teach us that no one person has it all figured out and that all of us, even the best of us, only see in part what is good, true and beautiful. Representative democracy demands humility and a generosity of spirit to recognize that we need one another. Elected leaders will need the perspectives and knowledge of fellow lawmakers, especially when they disagree.
Pray for governmental leaders to grow closer to God. Our nation was founded upon the belief that even in the greatest of human endeavors, humanity depends upon a sovereign and holy God for wisdom and protection, for grace and mercy and for justice and good government.
In Romans 13, Paul reminds Christians to be subject to the governing authorities over them because they are instruments of God. The government is not the same thing as the Church, but the Bible still calls those who lead in government “servants of God.”
Pray that a politician’s time in office would be marked less by political wins or legislative accomplishments and marked more by an encounter with the divine God of the universe. Pray for them to gain a deeper understanding of their role as a public servant with greater reverence for things that are on the heart of God.