It is very important for us to consider that prior to his conversion, the early church was probably praying to God regarding Saul of Tarsus. But they were probably praying for God’s wrath and Saul’s destruction, as he was making havoc of the church through persecution. But God’s intent was not Saul’s destruction, but his salvation.
Years after his conversion, when he would come to be known as Paul the Apostle, he would write:
In times like these, especially during an election season, it is easy for us to become irritated, upset, frustrated, and angry about politics. But might I encourage (and exhort) you to—first of all—pray for the salvation of our leaders. God desires their salvation. And if they were transformed (as was Saul of Tarsus) by the grace and power of God, their worldview and politics would change too.