Heavenly Father, a public office is a public trust. That may get lost in the routine rhythms and challenges of meetings and decision-making. But it’s precisely in the midst of the routine, the seemingly ordinary, that the members of this city council are to fulfill the responsibilities of their offices. Even the most routine of decisions in all of our lives can have an enormous impact on others. So, as this city council meets again tonight, give its members Your wisdom. Grant that they will treat the routine duties they discharge tonight for what they are: opportunities to do Your will, to love You and to love their neighbors in practical ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Sharing this prayer on Facebook tonight, I wrote:
Scripture enjoins us to pray for leaders, whether we agree with them or not. The apostle Paul wrote to the young pastor, Timothy, "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." (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
This is a remarkable passage in that Paul is telling Timothy that the people of Christ's Church in the first-century Roman Empire were to pray for those in authority, even despots like the Roman Emperors, for the sake of the people they govern.
This doesn't mean that we need to support leaders' agendas or obey them when and if they are unjust, cruel, or hateful. In fact, Christians have an obligation to not conform to such "leadership," even as we pray for those who wield authority in evil ways. Paul writes in the New Testament book of Romans, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2)[I'm the pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio.]