|Name Your Mayor in Your Prayer|
by Reed R. Heustis, Jr.
April 25, 2007
|NE OF THE most important responsibilities of Christian citizens in America is to pray for all those who are in authority. From various pulpits across America, prayers for the President of the United States can be heard every Lord's Day. Most of these prayers specifically refer to the President by name. Although the names of Presidents change from one election cycle to another, it is a certainty that when most Christians pray for their leaders, they will specifically pray for the President by name.|
Unfortunately however, Christian citizens rarely pray for those authority figures who are closest to them: their State and local leaders. In fact, most citizens - Christian or otherwise - don't even know who their closest leaders are.
While almost everybody knows who the President is, fewer people know who their two U.S. Senators are; and even fewer still cannot even name their respective U.S. Representative. At the Federal level, congressional power is supposed to be closest to the people, which is why the United States Constitution vested Congress with more power than it granted the executive and judiciary branches. Do people realize that without the Congress, the President cannot sign bills into law?
On the State and local level it gets worse. Most people possibly know who their Governor is, but it is quite possible that most do not. Here in California, it is probably safe to say that most people know that the Governor is Arnold Schwarzenegger, an internationally recognized movie celebrity. However, during those terms when a high profile celebrity does not hold the office of Governor, most Californians probably would not be able to name their own Governor.
Again though, the Governor's main duty is to execute laws enacted by the state legislature. In this regard, like the U.S. Congress, the state legislature is the more powerful body, and is made up representatives from districts close to the people. But can most citizens name their own legislative representatives?
What about one's city council? Can most people name just one representative on their own city council, the legislative body that is closest to their families?
What about the Mayor, the one charged with executing the council's wishes?
When Christians preach about praying for governmental leaders and all those who are in authority, shouldn't the preacher himself at least know who his own leaders are? How can a preacher's prayer be sincere if he has no apparent desire to know the name of the leader for whom he is praying? It sounds good to hear the preacher name the President, but what about those other leaders who are closer to the people?
In America's constitutional republic, State and local governments are closest (and most relevant) to the people, because they have reserved most power for themselves; whereas the Federal government, which is granted only limited enumerated powers by the U.S. Constitution, is the furthest from the people (and therefore should be least relevant). Astonishingly though, most people only know their Federal leaders, and know next to nothing about their State and local leaders.
Christians are exhorted to give supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks to all men, including for kings, and for all that are in authority. (1 Tim. 2:1-2) The Lord also requires that rulers be just, ruling in the fear of God. (2 Sam. 23:3).
Therefore, Christian citizens must pray that their leaders, including those of state and local jurisdictions, rule in the fear of God. For non-Christian leaders, Christian citizens should also pray for repentance and salvation, asking God to transform these authority figures into God-fearing Christians, imbuing them with an irresistible desire to serve God and Him alone - not only in their private lives, but also in their capacity as civil magistrates.
How can Christians effectively pray for these things when they do not even know the names of their own leaders? If you asked somebody to pray for your own precious child, then wouldn't you desire that he know your child's name?
Responsible Christian citizens are not required to memorize the names of each and every governmental official from sea to shining sea; however, they should at least know the names of those leaders who exercise authority directly over their own families.
For internet users, it is quite easy to find out who one's local leaders are. One simply can visit his favorite internet search engine, enter his city name, followed by the phrase, "city council," or something similar, and he should receive a direct link to his city council's official website. After perusing the site, he will surely learn who his city council members are, including his own Mayor. Those who live in unincorporated areas can search for their county leaders.
The same can be done for one's State Legislature. For example, a concerned California citizen, may simply search for "California legislature." He would soon be directed to the Official California Legislative Council homepage at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov . After a few casual clicks with the mouse here and there, the California web surfer will quickly learn his Assembly District, Assembly Member, Senate District and State Senator.
There is no reason why a Christian, who claims to pray for those who are in authority, should not know who his own leaders are.
Isn't it time that you name your Mayor in your prayer?
Reed R. Heustis, Jr., Esq. is a Southern California native, and publisher of Christian Constitutionalist. A member of the State Bar of California, Reed earned his Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law in San Diego, and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from University of California at Irvine. Reed and his family are members of a local church affiliated with the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America.
More columns by Reed R. Heustis, Jr.