In July 2022, Britain’s prime minister was forced to step down after what many felt were lapses in integrity (the newly appointed prime minister stepped down just months later!). The event was triggered when the country’s health minister attended an annual parliamentary prayer breakfast, felt convicted about the need for integrity in public life, and resigned. When other ministers resigned too, the prime minister realized he had to leave. It was a remarkable moment, originating from a peaceful prayer meeting.

Believers in Jesus are called to pray for their political leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2), and Psalm 72 is a good guide for doing so, being both a ruler’s job description and a prayer to help them achieve it. It describes the ideal leader as a person of justice and integrity (vv. 1-2), who defends the vulnerable (v. 4), serves the “needy” (vv. 12-13), and stands against oppression (v. 14). Their time in office is so refreshing, it’s like “showers watering the earth” (v. 6), bringing prosperity to the land (vv. 3, 7, 16). While only the Messiah can perfectly fulfill such a role (v. 11), what better standard of leadership could be aimed for?

The health of a country is governed by the integrity of its office bearers. Let’s seek “Psalm 72 leaders” for our nations and help them to embody its qualities by praying it for them.

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Author: Sheridan Voysey

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