In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, The Apostle Paul urges us to pray for “kings and all who are in authority” so they can lead tranquil lives of godliness and dignity. It is a great admonition and we should most definitely pray for them that way. However, he forgot to remind us that we should also pray that God would give them occasional bouts of insomnia.
God did that to King Xerxes of the Persian Empire in about 490 B.C. and it changed the course of world history. Esther 6:1 tells us that on a particular night, “the king could not sleep.” Without Ambien, Tylenol PM, or any of our other modern sleep aids, King Xerxes resorted to reading from the chronicles of his kingdom, and he learned about a man named Mordecai who had earlier foiled an assassination attempt and saved the king’s life.
Moved with gratitude the king promptly commanded that Mordecai would be honored and rewarded. What he did not realize at that moment was that Mordecai was a Jew, scheduled for annihilation in a plot to destroy the Jewish population in the kingdom. Xerxes’ case of kingly insomnia inadvertently contributed to the salvation of both Mordecai and the entire Jewish community.
In a time when political divides run deep and emotions run high, let’s pray for our government officials. Let’s pray for their character, their wisdom, and for skillful leadership in their areas of service. Let’s pray that God would have their attention and obedience—even if He has to give them insomnia to do it.