We are to pray for every human being, as every human being is equally loved by God. The most important prayer is for every person to receive salvation through Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.
However, while every person is equal before God, not everyone has equal influence on other human beings. Therefore, since we cannot literally pray for every single person, there is a strategic priority to pray for those whose lives influence others.
Imagine the influence of a businessman like Bill Gates, or the Secretary of the United Nations, or the president of China or India. We saw the effect of the salvation of a famous Hollywood artist like Mel Gibson. Media, entertainment, sports and intellectual leaders also have great influence.
Of all the people who have influence on the world around us, the three that stand out in my mind are the U.S. President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister of Israel. There is a strategic kingdom priority in praying for them above all others.
I Timothy 2:1-4
"I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions... be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life... For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved...."
It is not a coincidence that these men have such importance. They each serve in governmental positions that are reflective of Yeshua the Messiah. Yeshua serves in two dimensions of authority: in heaven as the Son of God, and on earth as the Son of David (Romans 1:3-4, Ephesians 1:10).
In heaven, Yeshua serves in three primary functions:
1)He prays for us (Romans 8:27),
2)He pours out the Holy Spirit on us (Acts 2:33), and
3)He commands the armies of angels (Revelation 19:14).
Yeshua also has three main governing positions on earth. However since He is not on earth, those offices are delegated to human beings. The first of those functions is King of kings" (I Timothy 6:15). In Old Testament times, it was filled by such men as Nebuchadnezzar of Iraq, Cyrus of Iran, and Pharoah of Egypt. In the late 1800's and early 1900's it was the Prime Minister of England. In our generation, it has been the President of the United States.
The second function is King of Israel" (John 1:49). This function was mostly nonexistent for the past 2,000 years until it became restored by Theodore Herzl and David Ben Gurion. Today that office is held by the prime minister of Israel. Ariel Sharon is not the Messiah, but he does sit in one of the Messiah's offices in this world.
The third function is "Head of the Church" (Ephesians 1:22). Since the international community of faith is so diverse, it is difficult to see any human being as head of the church. One might think of Billy Graham or Brother Yun or Ted Haggard. However the issue here is not personal spirituality but world influence. In this view, the Pope without doubt has the position of highest authority.
This might be hard to grasp, since in many countries, the Catholic Church is the worst opponent of the gospel. However, the Pope's office is still the most visible position associated with the image of Jesus in the world. (In recent years, a number of Messianic leaders have even had the opportunity to meet with the former Cardinal Ratsinger.)
I do not know the level of faith of these men, but I do know that God's kingdom is in the process of taking over the positions of authority in this world (Revelation 11:15). And therefore if you pray for the men serving in these three positions, your prayers will take on a dimension of world influence, and your understanding of how Yeshua is establishing His kingdom authority on earth will increase.
We are dealing here with spiritual warfare concerning "powers and principalities and angelic rulers in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). Lack of prayer for these three men has hindered the advance of the kingdom of God.
No U.S. President in modern times has stood more firmly than Bush for family values, for Israel, and against terror, Islamic fanaticism and tyranny. Family Values - Bush is currently appointing two Supreme Court justices. Israel - Despite what some imbalanced reports are saying concerning the disengagement, the large majority of Israelis are quite appreciative of Bush's support for this nation. Terror - Bush has actually gone to war in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
What's more, his testimony of personal faith in Yeshua has also gone beyond any political leader in recent history. Currently Bush's popularity and influence within the U.S. have been greatly damaged. I do not see that as a judgment of God, but rather as a result of lack of prayer for him. If we do not quickly and fervently intercede for him, he will become ineffective over the next three years, and could be succeeded by an atheistic, secular humanist who will release a flood of demonic influence throughout the Western world.
Similar things can be said of Ariel Sharon. No Prime Minister of Israel has done more to fight terrorism, Islamic fanaticism and Orthodox Jewish religious coercion than he. He was one of the most effective generals in modern Israeli history. In his present term of office, the gospel has advanced in Israel more than at any other time. However he has also been greatly weakened. In his case like in Bush's, I do not see this as a judgment of God against him, but as a result of misguided prayers that have effectively been cursing him over the last year. Please pray FOR the Prime Minister of Israel. This is not a political issue but a spiritual one. If he does not receive our prayer support, a flood of religious fanaticism and bloodshed could be released across the Middle East.
If we are to see victory over Western decadence (a Whore spirit) or over Islamic fundamentalism (a Beast spirit), there must be a strategic unity between Spirit-filled evangelicals on the one side, and the United States government, Catholic church and nation of Israel on the other side. May those with an apostolic and prophetic desire for the advancement of the kingdom of God on earth receive revelatory discernment on these issues.
Note: As I write these words, Ariel Sharon has just spoken at the major address of the U.N. international conference, which may have been the largest gathering of heads of state ever assembled. On the same day the two Chief Rabbis of Israel (Ashkenazic and Sephardic) both met with the new Pope in Rome. When we see Yeshua as sovereign ruler over the nations of the world, we understand that events like these have prophetic and kingdom importance.