Rescue the Weak and Needy
A Psalm of Asaph.
82 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
7 nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations!
In days where there is ongoing battle and infighting, political upheaval and strong party alliances concerning earthly politics, Psalm 82 is an excellent source for learning to pray correctly for governing officials and their duties on earth.
The psalmist explains the role of the government and God’s intention when He set them in place: to make and preserve just laws. Which is how they got their title as little gods on earth—because they have been given such power. God also points out through this psalm that, unfortunately, worldly government (that is governing that is done according to human passions and bias and sin) will make no headway and will in fact dishonor God’s name because of the shameful abuse of their power.
Psalm 82 highlights three virtues of God we should take note of because, as we pray concerning government they are important to know: 1)God advances His Kingdom and His Word, 2)God makes and keeps laws for the poor, 3)God protects and rescues those who are miserable (oppressed in numerous ways).
From these three things we can see God’s chief aim through earthly government is: justice, peace, righteousness, life, and salvation. These are supported throughout the Gospels and the Epistles. If we are going to pray for governing officials, government, and its workings, these aims and concerns of God should be our focus also.
It will disappoint many to discover God does not have a favorite political party. He does not favor one or the other but will work through all who hold these positions and promises judgment for those who do not follow His direction and counsel in matters of governing.
Looking closely at Psalm 82 we can see:
- How God takes His place among the council (governing bodies) and speaks (82:1)
- God asks the question about the manner of governing taking place—82:2
- Gives direction and refreshes earthly gods concerning their chief duties on earth among the people —82:3-4
- States the refusal of earthly gods to do what is right in God’s eye concerning his people—82:5
- Makes a declaration concerning His judgment about the gods of earth—82:5-7
- The psalmists closes with the powerful knowledge that God will judge the earth and the running of it and everything will fall under His supreme authority—82:8
Thus, the position of the intercessor or prayer warrior in praying for the political matters is not like praying for our favorite football team at game time. Rather, it should be to uphold what God wants done through the little gods on earth. These are the prayers God will hear and answer and use to persuade the earthly gods as they take their seats of power.
If, concerning political matters, you find yourself in the locker room praying for one political team (party) over another, ask God to give you a right perspective, teach you how to pray just as the disciples asked Jesus for instruction, and make your prayers effective and pleasing to Him alone so that His will is done on earth as it is in Heaven: meaning God’s authority and chief aim are always upheld.
It may help us as we pray concerning the operation of earthly government, to remember, one day even our earthly government will pass away and be no more, but in the meantime it should serve the purposes which God intends (see aforementioned).
As intercessors let’s pray fervently that God will take our personal opinions and biases out of the mix and use our prayers to accomplish His will on earth as it is in heaven.
A sample prayer in this area might be:
All praise and glory be to You, heavenly Father, Ruler of nations, because You have granted our land free institutions of government, and under which we enjoy both civil and religious freedom. We pray, by Your mighty hand protect and uphold these freedoms and keep them from being divided, dislodged, or overthrown through selfish desires, disagreement, or evil intent and fractions. Protect it from those who do not have Your good and chief aim in mind and cause all who sit in seats of power to remember the purpose for which You have chosen them. May we always remember to pray; “Thy will be done on earth, through those that government, as it is in Heaven.” Give justice to the weak and the fatherless, maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute, rescue the weak and the needy and deliver them from the hand of the wicked. May Your good always rise above all other agendas and make our ways pleasing to You. In the name of Jesus who sits on the throne to bless and to judge the actions of every human. Amen
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