Prayer, submission and government authority

“The words ‘tranquil’ and ‘quiet’ refer to the submissive and peaceable attitude that ought to characterize a Christian’s attitude toward those who are in civil authority.”

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Aaron Blumer's picture


John MacArthur, in Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong says it like this, “In addition to submitting to the laws of our land, we are commanded to pray for those in authority over us. Even those whom we consider political ‘opponents’ are to receive our prayers on their behalf. . . . An immediate by-product of praying for our leaders is that it removes thoughts of rebellion, resistance, or anger towards them. . . . When our leaders do something we don’t like, our first response should be to pray, not protest.”

We have a case of oversimplification here in the application. The principles are clear enough.

Need to factor in some things . . .

  • When is anger right and failure to feel outrage wrong?
  • In the USA, the citizens are the government to a significant degree
  • When are government officials engaging in evil that we ought to oppose because we are also part of the government?


Jeffrey Dean's picture

The principles still apply even though we live in a Republic.  If believers came together in prayer to our One True Judge we'd have true influence. Instead we pump ourselves up in anger, call it righteous, shoulder Jesus off His throne and pronounce judgment on everyone.  By standing in judgment we perpetuate the very conditions we pontificate against. The cycle marches on.

Dr. MacArthur nailed it.