September 9, 2021 • Life for Leaders
Scripture Reading: Psalm 72:1-4 (NRSV)
Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
Psalm 72 is a prayer for a king—specifically, for the king of Israel. Most of us don’t live under the authority of a king or queen anymore, but most of us do have authorities over us at work: bosses, managers, owners, boards, stockholders, etc. Psalm 72 helps us to pray for our bosses and others in authority, perhaps in ways we would not pray when left to our own devices.
Psalm 72 teaches us to pray for those in authority, for our bosses and managers, for owners and stockholders, and, looking beyond our workplaces, for government leaders and those who implement their directives. The psalm teaches us to ask that those in authority would act with justice and righteousness, with particular concern for people who are not well off and who, therefore, lack human power.
Gracious God, I am not living under the authority of an actual king or queen, but I do work under human authority. So, inspired by Psalm 72, I want to pray for bosses and managers, for owners and stockholders, and for all who exercise authority over me in my work.
Give those in authority your justice, Lord. May they not only receive your justice, but also model their own lives upon you and your justice. May they be especially concerned for justice for those who don’t have much power, for the poor, for folks low down on the ladder, for employees without perks and privileges.
May my “bosses” also experience your righteousness. May they be in right relationship with you through Jesus Christ, and may they seek for right relationships with all whom they supervise at work. In particular, may their decisions be shaped by your righteousness, Lord; by your vision and values as revealed in Scripture and, most of all, in Jesus.
As those in authority lead well, may their efforts be blessed. May they bring about prosperity, but not only for themselves or others with high ranking. May the prosperity they help to create be shared with all the people who have contributed to it, from the least to the greatest.
Help my “bosses,” Lord, to desire your justice for all people. May they have wisdom to shape the structure and systems over which they have authority in ways that are truly right. May they help our organization to be one that does justice, loves kindness, and walks humbly with you. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
God calls all of us to do justice in all of life, including our workplaces.
For Further Reflection
You may wish to read all of Psalm 72.
The final line of the prayer paraphrases Micah 6:8:
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
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Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Praying for Our Leaders
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.