Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
— 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NKJV)
One of the most basic mandates for the Christian is to pray for the government. God intends His church to exercise a decisive influence for good in the affairs of the nations.
The Old Testament gives you two examples that draw back the veil of the unseen spiritual realm that dominates and controls human affairs. I believe spiritual factors are absolutely decisive in world affairs, in national affairs and in personal affairs.
We have to acknowledge the truth of historical events, the impact of social and economic factors. They are real factors, but the dominating, controlling, decisive element behind all of them is spiritual. That is why the church is the decisive factor in world affairs because the church is the only agent that can enter into this realm and operate there. It is perfectly logical.
The 28th chapter of Ezekiel contains the most remarkable unfolding of this double kingdom: the seen kingdom with the natural human ruler, and the unseen kingdom with the satanic ruler. In the first nineteen verses of this chapter, we have a lamentation, or a bitter reproach, against two persons. One is called “the prince of Tyre,” the other is called “the king of Tyre.”
The prince of Tyre is a human being. He claims to be God, but in fact, he is a man, and as a man, he has to die. But the king of Tyre neither is, nor was, nor ever could be a human being. Study the very clear identifying marks that are given in verses 12 through 18, and there is only one conclusion: this king of Tyre is none other than satan himself.
Behind the visible kingdom of Tyre with its prince, there is the invisible kingdom of Tyre with its king, the world ruler of darkness, who is satan. The course of affairs in the visible kingdom is determined by the affairs of the invisible kingdom. It is the invisible which is decisive.
I believe that behind every kingdom, every nation, every great city, there is an invisible rulership. There is a rulership over the state of Florida, there is also an invisible spiritual power controlling Miami. I have travelled widely and I have noticed that when you go to certain cities you can feel the presence of spiritual powers. They are not always the same. I was in Berlin a couple of years ago and the atmosphere was impregnated with sexual impurity and lust. Other cities have different influences. In Chicago, the prevailing spirit is one of violence. In New Orleans it is witchcraft.
If you are sensitive, you can feel the unseen powers that dominate and control. There is never a breakthrough in the kingdom of God until these spiritual powers have been brought into subjection by prayer. When that happens, the avalanche of revival will flood a nation or a kingdom or a city. The great barrier to a real move of God is in the unseen realm.
Lord, I yearn to see repentance and revival in my community and in my nation. Please teach me, under the guidance of Your Holy Spirit, to pray effectively and sensitively so that Your glory may spread and souls may be saved. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
These messages are taken from Derek Prince's book, Praying for the Government, available in our webshop here. For further study, we also recommend his book, Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting, available here.