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Discovering the Heart of Prayer: Why Should I Pray For the President or King?

  • Matthijs Vlaardingerbroek |
  • Nov 1, 2023
A group of teenagers in discussing about whether to pray for people you don

Encounter the limitless expanse of prayer and learn to extend it even towards those we find challenging to like. Let's uncover the true essence of prayer, in its most empathetic and compassionate form.

A Glimpse into our Bible Study Session

I would like to share with you an interesting and enlightening experience from a Bible study session with our young teens in the inner city.

The evening began with pizza and camaraderie, followed by a study of the first letter to Timothy, specifically focusing on the exhortation to pray for 'kings and all those in authority'. As always, our young participants were open and candid in their responses. Their honesty brought forth statements like, "Why should I pray for the President? He never changes his policies," and "Why would I pray for the king? He's always on vacation."

Just like that, we found ourselves in the midst of a vibrant political debate - a far cry from the traditional interpretation of the scripture. Our learners may not be 'church folk' in the traditional sense, sticking closely to the Bible's text, but they do embody the spirit of questioning, learning, and growing.

The Heart of Prayer: Praying for the Challenging Ones

After navigating the political conversation, we posed a question: "Even if you choose not to pray for the President, Prime Minister, or the king, what challenge does this text pose for us?" One teen quickly responded, mentioning that it was easy to pray for her mother but challenging to pray for those she disliked. This sparked a flurry of similar reactions.

Praying for those we struggle to like turned out to be a common difficulty, and we were able to pivot the conversation to this significant issue. So, while our young learners might not immediately start praying for political leaders, they're beginning to embrace praying for those around them whom they might find challenging. Could this have been the broader message that Apostle Paul intended?

Let's Redefine Prayer Together

Remember, the heart of prayer is about love, empathy, and understanding, even extending to those we find difficult to like. Embrace this teaching moment and use it as a way to deepen your learners' understanding of prayer, love, and the broader message of our faith.

Thank you for your dedication to fostering a learning environment where young learners can openly discuss their feelings and beliefs. Here at, we are deeply committed to support you, so that you can support the children and teenagers in your care in their journey of faith, love, and understanding.

P.S. Remember, the aim of our ministry is not just to teach our children to pray, but to instil in them the understanding of what prayer truly is – a heartfelt conversation with God. Whether we're praying for a national leader, a disliked neighbour, or a loved one, the spirit of prayer remains the same - it's all about compassion, understanding, and love.

Keywords: faith, love, prayer, bible study, children's ministry, empathy, compassion

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