Summary: Pray for government: 1. That protects the innocent. 2. That is patient securing justice. 3. That is prompt in admitting mistakes. 4. That performs in obedience to the law. 5. Not paralyzed by partisan strife. 6. Led by godly people.

How to Pray for Our Government

The Book of Acts - Part 80

Acts 22:22-23:10

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - March 29, 2015

*Church: We need to pray for our government. We need to pray for our leaders. That's what the Apostle Paul urges us to do 1 Timothy 2:1-6. There, Paul said:

1. Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,

2. for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

3. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,

4. who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

5. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

6. who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

*When we think about our great history, we can be sure that God's people were praying. When we think about the Biblical principles upon which our nation was founded, and the godly men who led us so well, we can be sure God's people were praying. And when we think about the soldiers who served and sacrificed for our freedom, we can be sure God's people were praying.

*Now we should be praying for our country, and tonight's Scripture shows us how to pray.

1. First: Pray for a government that protects the innocent.

*In these verses Paul was an innocent man very much in need of protection. And he got that protection from the soldiers of Rome.

*Earlier in this chapter, a bloodthirsty mob of Jews quieted down long enough to listen to part of Paul's Christian testimony. But when Paul told the crowd that God had sent him to the hated, heathen Gentiles, vs. 22-24 say:

22. . . they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!''

23. Then, as they cried out and tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air,

24. the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him.

*Acts 23:10 tells us that the next day, a great disagreement arose between the Jewish religious parties. And the Roman commander "fearing lest Paul might be pulled to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks."

*Good government should protect the innocent, and that's the kind of government to pray for.

*Most of us know that during the Vietnam War, John McCain was held prisoner by an ungodly, Communist government. Here is a small part of his testimony from that time:

-"In the final years of our imprisonment, the North Vietnamese moved us from small cells with one or two prisoners to large rooms with as many as 30-40 men to a room. We preferred this situation for the companionship and strength we could draw from our fellow prisoners.

*In addition to moving us to new quarters, our captors also let us receive packages and letters from home. Many men received word from their families for the first time in several years. The improved conditions were a result of public pressure put on the North Vietnamese by the American public.

*In our cell was one Navy officer, Lt. Commander Mike Christian. Over a period of time Mike had gathered bits and pieces of red and white cloth from various packages. Using a piece of bamboo, he had fashioned into a needle, Mike sewed a United States flag on the inside of his shirt, one of the blue pajama tops we all wore.

*Every night in our cell, Mike would put his shirt on the wall, and we would say the pledge of allegiance. I know that the pledge of allegiance may not be the most important aspect of our day now. But I can tell you that at the time it was the most important aspect of our lives. This had been going on for some time until one of the guards came in as we were reciting our pledge. They ripped the flag off the wall and dragged Mike out. He was beaten for several hours and then thrown back into the cell.

*Later that night, as we were settling down to sleep on the concrete slabs that were our beds, I looked over to the spot where the guards had thrown Mike. There, under the solitary light bulb hanging from the ceiling, I saw Mike. Still bloody and his face swollen beyond recognition, Mike was gathering bits and pieces of cloth together. He was sewing a new American flag." (1)

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