1 Timothy 2:1-4
Watching the news, I see the media ready to jump all over our country’s leaders every time they make what appears to be a poor decision. Something I have learned to consider is the fact that I do not have all the details and sometimes what may seem to be a bad decision may be the best decision given the circumstances. I am preaching to myself because I easily find myself getting frustrated with some of the things leaders say or do and I have to remind myself that the media’s perspective is not necessarily correct and the situation may be pulled out of context. My topic for today can be convicting for me because I have not prayed for this county’s leaders or people in authority over me on a regular basis. Just think of what could happen if everyone who followed Christ prayed for everyone in authority over them! I believe the effect would be amazing! Please look up 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
Paul tells us in verse 1 that we need to be praying for everyone and then in verse 2 he explains that includes “kings and all those in authority…” For us, this would mean praying for all our political leaders and anyone with authority over us such as our bosses at work. Paul explains why we should be praying for them, “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” When Paul wrote this letter, Nero was the emperor and was known to be a cruel ruler and was persecuting the church. Paul was not saying that we pray for the leaders we like; he was saying that we need to pray for all leaders. Keep in mind that at one time, Paul was also a harsh religious leader and put Christians to death. He wrote this knowing that God can change anyone. In verses 3 and 4 we see that praying for our leaders pleases God who wants to see all men to be saved.
That brings me to an interesting thought: how often have I prayed that our leaders come to know Christ? It is important that we pray for God’s guidance as they have a great responsibility, but it is even more important that they come to a relationship with the only One who can save them. God “wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.” Isn’t it interesting that God can move His hand at any given time, but He wants us to participate with Him through prayer? We know that all leaders are only in their position because God allows it (Daniel 5:18, 21); however God wants us to participate in His work through prayer. It is amazing to me to think that God, who has the power to do anything, wants me to take part in what He does; it is also a responsibility that I am not to ignore.
Some things that we need to pray over anyone in authority is similar to what we pray for our church leaders:
· Most importantly, pray that they come to know Christ if they don’t already.
· Pray that they have wisdom to make good decisions.
· Pray that they have the strength the follow through with good decisions even when they may face opposition.
· Pray that there is unity amongst all the leaders.
· Pray for physical health.
Are you praying for the people in authority in your life?