The Believers Attitude Toward Wicked Rulers And How Should We Pray For Them?

Before reading this article, if you have not done so, you should first read my article on Spiritual Warfare Praying Against Satan and His Wicked Spirits (scroll down to the bottom of the Home Page to access the article) as if provides some background material for this second article.

Authority is perhaps the most misunderstood doctrine not only of worldly authorities, but more importantly spiritual authority. Watchman Nee has an insightful book on Spiritual Authority. If you have not read it, I highly recommend it.

The Bible (Sola Scriptura - I use this term frequently as you have noticed because it means Scripture is the final word on all matters pertaining to the Church in a lost world; it also applies to the world, but unsaved humanity does not recognize it and have rejected it) says that believers in Jesus Christ should pray for all those in authority and it does not make a distinction between righteous and wicked rulers:

I Timothy 2:1-3 NKJV

1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,...

This Scripture is a command in the Greek language to pray for ALL who are in positions of authority whether or not we like them, even despise them, and did not vote them into office. We are not only to pray for them, but to give God thanks for them. I imagine that is a hard pill to take, but there is a reason we do that. First God says he has made the day of evil for good and that He turns the evil into something good. Second, He says that He sets up kings and He also brings them down:

Isaiah 45:7 KJV

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

Psalms 75:7 NASB

But God is the judge; He puts down one and exalts another.

Genesis 50:20 NKJV

20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Let's look at these Scriptures to get a better understanding of what they mean. Isaiah 45:7 implies that God creates evil. The Hebrew word for evil is rah and has many connotations other than wickedness. It also means calamity, distress, grief, etc. We know from the Scriptures that God abhors evil for He is just, righteous and holy. Then how does God create evil if He does?  Sometimes the Word of God says what it means without a full explanation for the particular Scripture.

In the Isaiah 45:7 Verse, and I am taking some liberty here, but not in the sense of corrupting or changing the meaning, God is saying without really saying so, that He is responsible for creating a high ranking angel (KJV calls him Lucifer, but that word is not in the original Hebrew language of the Old Testament) that was perfect in all his ways until sin was found in him (See Ezekiel 28:11-19). Such being the case, God has pronounced judgment upon Satan, which was finalized when Jesus died upon the cross and rose from the dead. We know from the Book of Revelation, Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire where the Beast and False Prophet preceded him and they shall be tormented forever and forever (Revelation 20:10). Jesus said He saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven (Luke 10:18).

The mystery is we don't fully understand why God permitted Satan to exist for all these millenniums for He could have destroyed him when he rebelled against the Holy Trinity in the heavenlies. However, Isaiah is not saying God created evil for that is foreign to His holy nature, but in the sense Satan who at one time was "the" archangel over the order of the Cherubim (the other order of angles is the Seraphim), and fell from his high place; sin with all of its evil had its origin in Satan and entered into the universe and later the human race.  God is telling us by Isaiah the prophet that while he holds Satan fully accountable for his sin and has consigned him to the Lake of Fire in the appointed time, He will work through the evil for His purposes in bringing about His will for both the angelic realm and the human race. Without their even knowing it, God uses the evil of the wicked against them in order to destroy them and thwart their purposes. He also allows the effects of evil to bring discipline into the lives of his people who sin. In a nutshell, both Satan and his evil have become God's messengers to punish evil doers and even the righteous that turn away from God and live in sin.  (See Ezekiel 3:20-21).

This way of God working through evil is seen in Genesis 50:20 where Joseph tells his wicked brothers who attempted to kill him that even though they meant to do him harm (evil), God used the evil they intended for the good of not only him, but his brothers and father, Jacob, and the Egyptians. Read the story of Joseph, a type of Christ in Genesis 37-50.

The last passage, Psalms 75:7 says God puts down one and exalts another.  All authorities come from God, we know this from Romans 13:1-7:

1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

This passage has sometimes been taken out of context by literalists that interpret every word in a context as a "stand-alone." For example, they may use this passage to teach that God sets up wicked rulers such as a Hitler, a Stalin, a Pol Pot, or even the barbaric ISIS regime.  The passage is not saying God sets up wicked rulers, but that since all power and authority is established or allowed by God for His sovereign purposes, the wicked rulers will answer to him for their evil rule. The wicked rulers do not understand they are under the permissive will of God and subject to Him in all matters. I guarantee you Barack Hussein Obama does not understand it.

Remember King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon when after he had conquered the known world at that time and had built himself a royal palace and hanging gardens for his wife that was considered one of the eight wonders of the world, he began to brag about his great feats as though he alone accomplished all his conquests. The Lord heard the words of his prideful heart and struck him with a mental disease that lasted for 7 years. During that time, he was apparently kept in some guarded position. When he finally repented of his pride and arrogance and gave God the glory, his right mind was given back to him and his kingdom restored. As Psalms 75:7 says, God puts down one and exalts another.

The principal intent of Romans 13 is that righteous government (one that rules by God's moral laws of justice, mercy and truth) is the minister of God to reward the good and punish the evil. It certainly is not teaching that evil government is setup by God to punish the righteous and reward the wicked even though that has been  the case throughout world history (evil men and nations punishing the righteous).  We also must remember that God uses evil leaders and nations to bring judgment upon His people that turn away from Him to serve idols (false gods).  This was the case with ancient Israel and Judah when the Lord brought the kingdoms of Assyria, Babylon, Medeo-Persia, Greece and Rome to utterly destroy them including the city of Jerusalem and the temple. 

Let's summarize what we have learned in the above passages. All power and authorities come from God and both are under His direct and permissive will. He uses the evil of wicked leaders for the eventual good. He also uses wicked leaders and nations to punish His people that turn away from Him. God is not the author of evil even though He created the archangel, Satan, who rebelled against His rightful rule and as a consequence sin and evil entered into both the heavenly and earthly realms. God has taken the responsibility to deal with Satan and the angels who rebelled with him and has pronounced the curse of eternal torment upon them at the appointed time. Have you noticed in the Scriptures there is no mention of another rebellion in the angelic realm since Satan's fall. That is because God dealt severely with Satan and the fallen angels. There is only one devil and all of the fallen angels are kept in tartarus until the day of judgment (note: there are wicked spirits referred to as demons that are not confined to tartarus (not hell, but a special place reserved for the the wickedest of the wicked angels - See Jude Verse 6).

James 4:7 says that we are to resist the devil and he will flee from us. Ephesians 5:11 says we are to ...expose the unfruitful works of darkness. Proverbs 8:13 says the fear of the Lord is to hate evil.

Then how are we to pray for evil and wicked rulers that corrupt the Scriptures, lie, cheat, deceive, cover-up their wicked deeds and oppress the people particularly the righteous?  I am specifically referring to the government of the United States of America. Well, we need to go back up to I Timothy 2:1-3 and read it again with Romans 13. A sample prayer would be as follows:

Heavenly Father, Sovereign Lord who created the heavens, the earth and everything in them for the purpose of revealing your glory to the sons of men, we appeal to your mighty power and supreme authority to look down upon our nation, the United States of America, and see that we are in great peril by the present government that is determined to destroy our Republic and Constitutional form of government You gave to our founding fathers who entrusted it to our generation and all before us. This form of government has given us unparallelled freedoms and liberty unlike any other nation on the face of the earth. We have been free to worship You in our houses of worship without fear of reprisal. For that we give You all the praise and glory. However, our Father, we see our own government and many of the people attacking the Christian faith, Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Scriptures.  There is a movement attempting to eradicate Christianity from our nation while promoting false religions. We know all truth is in your Son, Jesus, and Your Word. 

Holy Father, You told us to pray for all men in authority and even to give thanks for all authority comes from You. It is clear from Romans 13 Your intended purpose was for All government to deal justly with all mankind - to reward good and punish evil. However, the opposite is taking place with our government and nation. Our leaders are evil and wicked and are not governing according to Your righteous laws. They have become lawless and are oppressing the people. We know Father that You are not the creator of evil, but the wicked one who rebelled against your authority in the angelic realm.  You use his evil that you abhor to punish the wicked and even your people that sin against You where there is no repentance.  Father, we respect the offices and branches of our government - the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial for they are derived from your Word - Isaiah 33:22. However, evil men and women have corrupted the original and intended purposes of these branches of government in order to destroy this nation. We pray and ask Father that you forgive us of our national and personal sins which are many, for we have turned away from You and are deserving of Your judgment. We know Father that our troubles are of our own making for our sins have brought these calamities upon us. Holy Father, we ask that You send the spirit of repentance to the people of this nation from top to bottom for we know only repentance shall save us from those who hate our nation and seek to destroy it both within and without. Father, it is written in Your Word that if we turn away from You, You shall become our enemy. We know You raised-up ancient evil nations to destroy Your people Israel and Judah and the same will be the fate of the United States if we do not turn back to You.

Righteous Father, there is a new scourge in the Middle East, ISIS, that is committing horrible crimes against humanity - raping and beheading even little children and burning people alive. We know these evil people are children of the devil and are carrying out his wicked deeds. Again Father, You said that You give Your authority to governments to administer justice and mercy and to reward the good and punish the evil. Bring together O, Father, the nations that promote peace among men to wipe this scourge from off the face of the earth and give them victory. Let them know, Father, that You and You alone gave them the victory over these evil people and to bow before You and give You the glory You deserve.

Father, we know that evil is not going to be totally eradicated from the face of the earth until Jesus returns and sets up His righteous Kingdom for You said that wars and rumors of wars would continue until the very time of the end for evil men, deceivers and imposters shall wax worse and worse. Therefore, we know our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the wicked powers behind them. Teach us how to effectively wage spiritual warfare in the heavenly realms so as to defeat Satan's kingdom on this earth.

We pray this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Even so come Lord Jesus!

This is only a sample prayer or a guide to help in praying against the evil we see in our government and the world.