1 Timothy 2:1-4 is an urgent call to prayer—“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
I am writing this just a few days before the November 8 elections, so this is a good time to think about praying for those in authority. Supposedly, the chaplain of the U.S. Senate was once asked if he prayed for the Senators. “No”, he replied. “I look at the Senators and pray for the country!”
The Bible says that we should pray for all those in authority. When Paul wrote this Scripture, his readers were under the authority of the Roman Empire, and Nero was the emperor. Those in power were not exactly sympathetic toward followers of Jesus Christ! Yet those followers were encouraged to pray for those in positions of authority. This means that we must do the same, no matter which party is in the majority and regardless of whether or not we voted for that particular official.
The government has been established by God to keep order so that we may go about our lives. We need to pray that our leaders will do a good job of keeping the peace and providing a social environment where we can go about our business of living for the Lord.
Our first inclination might be to complain about our elected leaders rather than pray for them. Who hasn’t been guilty of that!? However, the Bible says that it is important that we pray for those in various positions of authority. It might be a good idea to keep a list of public officials– on the local, state and national level–so that we can pray for them by name.
Note that verse one urges prayers for all people. It’s not just the politicians who need our prayers. That word “all” is extremely inclusive, isn’t it? Everyone we know can be the focus of our prayers. Too often Christians limit their prayers to the sick list in their church bulletin. This is indeed a worthy endeavor, but healthy people need our prayers too! We need to pray for the saved and the lost, the conservatives and the liberals, friends and enemies, the morally upright and those living sinful lifestyles. We need to pray for young and old, married and single, rich and poor…well, you get the idea. We need to pray for everybody!
And let’s keep in mind the desired end result of our prayers, seen in the last verse of the above Scripture—God wants all people to be saved! God’s desire is that all people come to a knowledge of the truth and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior! Our prayers should reflect God’s desire for evangelism to take place!
No wonder the Bible urges us to make prayer for all people a top priority! Friends, let us pray!