A couple of months ago I preached through chapter 13 in my regular exposition of Romans at Grace Baptist Church where I serve as pastor. I had worked through verses 1-7 before but this time there was a great urgency in my study. In the wake of so many governmental missteps during the Covid pandemic and the Black Lives Matter riots I wanted to make sure I understood as clearly as I could how Christians, especially Christian pastors, should think about civil magistrates.
The more I have considered this and related passages the more I have become deeply appreciative of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He has stood against the woke crowd and the intimidation and overreach of various federal officials over the last 4 years. He has, in the language of Romans 13:4, fulfilled his God-given role to be “God’s servant” for the “good” of Floridians.
In keeping with 1 Timothy 1:2-3 (which says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”), I lead our church to pray for Governor DeSantis every Sunday morning. We also pray for President Biden, as we have for previous presidents and governors over the last 35 years.
So it was not a hard decision for me to accept an invitation to pray for the governor publicly when he was recently in Southwest Florida. In fact, I consider such an invitation an honor and privilege. Below is a recording of that public prayer, followed by the actual text. May the Lord grant the requests that I—and others—have made in this prayer. And may He do so in ways that reveal His great glory and grace in the Lord Jesus.
I’m grateful for the privilege to pray for my governor @GovRonDeSantis & his family. God has blessed the state of Florida by placing him in this office as His servant for our good. pic.twitter.com/RNeFThFqUq
— Tom Ascol @tomascol (@tomascol) November 7, 2022
Our Father, we bow to you tonight because You and You alone are the true and living God. You are the One who has created all things and even now, through Your Son, You uphold the whole universe by the word of His power. Everything and everyone belong to You. All that we have and all that we are is because of You.
You are sovereign. You rule and overrule in all the affairs of this world. You are wise. You see the end from the beginning, and You never make a mistake. You are good, and You always do what is right and good.
We thank You for your great love for people whom You have made in Your own image. And we confess that we have not lived as we ought and have sinned against You. But we also confess that with You there is mercy, that you may be feared. Thank you for not treating us the way that our sins deserve but delivering up Your Son as the Savior of the world.
Your Word instructs us to pray for all people and especially for civil authorities in high positions. So, tonight we pray for Governor DeSantis and we thank You for him and the wisdom and courage You have given him. Please watch over him and his family and protect them from evil. Encourage him with reminders that You are the One who has instituted civil government and You have called him to serve and placed him in his role as governor to do good to the people of Florida. Help him always to remember that He is first and foremost, Your servant. Empower him with good counsel and strength to fulfill all his responsibilities that go with his office. Help him to carry out his duties with joy and in the fear of the Lord. And deliver him from the fear of any man.
Receive our praise and answer our requests because we bring them to you in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.