Most of us would agree with Paul about the need to pray for political leaders (1 Tim. 2:1). But many people have a hard time accepting Paul’s instruction to give thanks to God for government (v.2). Because of all the wrong they see in national and local politics, government seems more of a curse than a blessing. They wonder what they are supposed to be thankful for.

If we feel this way, we should remember that Paul lived under the regimes of despotic Roman emperors. He saw their rule as better than anarchy. We should also remind ourselves that many of the benefits we enjoy are the result of good laws.

Many countries, for example, have laws protecting children and the poor from inhuman labor practices. Conditions may be far from perfect, but they would be much worse if it were not for compassionate laws.

Paul said the Lord uses government to judge those who do evil (Rom. 13:4). We can see how God uses police and the justice system to control crime and prevent disorder. Paul even went so far as to call political leaders “God’s ministers” (Rom. 13:6) whom He uses for our well-being.

If we pause to think, we will discover good reasons to offer thanks as we pray for our government.