A: No, the world isn’t perfect and neither are our leaders, but have you ever asked yourself how much worse things might be if we stopped praying for them? God’s ways are often hidden from us, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t at work, even if we don’t see it.
Why should we pray for those who are in places of authority? One reason is because the Bible commands it. The Bible says, “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” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Yes, your pastor obeys this command, but what about you? Have you ever asked yourself what might happen in our nation if God’s people consistently obeyed His command to pray?
We also should pray for our leaders because of the burdens they bear -- burdens far heavier than most of us can ever imagine. They need God’s wisdom (whether they realize it or not), for without it, evil could have its way and our world would face even more serious problems. The Bible says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13).
Never forget, however, that our ultimate hope is not in this world or its political systems, but in Jesus Christ. One day, He will come again to destroy all evil and establish His kingdom of perfect righteousness and peace. Is your hope and trust in Him?
Q: I know I made a lot of bad decisions over the years, but I always hoped my children would learn from my mistakes. Well, I’m afraid that hasn’t happened, and now my family seems to be coming apart at the seams. Why won’t they learn to do what’s right? — Mrs. W.C.
A: I’ve often asked myself the same question: Why don’t we learn from the mistakes of others? And yet we seldom do. Instead, we go on making the same mistakes others have made, generation after generation. The writer of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament stated it well: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
Why is this? One reason is because we always think we’ll be the exception, and what’s happened to someone else won’t happen to us. To put it another way, we think we’re smarter than they were, and we’ll be able to avoid the consequences. But this simply isn’t true. Bad decisions always, without exception, produce bad consequences.
You see, God has told us what’s right and wrong, and when we ignore Him and turn our backs on His moral standards, we will pay a price. But our hearts are in rebellion against Him, and even when we know better, we often fall for Satan’s lies. The Bible warns, “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7).
Pray for your family, asking God to awaken them to the error of their ways and help them turn instead to Him for the wisdom they need. Ask God also to open the door for you to talk with your children -- not lecturing them or condemning them for the way they’re living, but letting them know you love them, and hope they’ll avoid your mistakes and follow Christ instead.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.