Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-6
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 Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.
I don’t think Helen and I are alone in being tired of the news coverage on the TV, with all the political wranglings, finger pointing, criticism, and what seems like a general desire to look for the problems with every decision that someone else makes. That being so, I find Paul’s words to his protégé Timothy quite challenging.
Timothy lived in what is now part of Greece. His father was a Greek but his mother was Jewish and Timothy was brought up within his mother’s Jewish faith, then becoming a Christian during one of Paul’s missionary journeys. It is believed that Timothy went on to become Bishop of Ephesus, also in ancient Greece.
Timothy was therefore living under Roman occupation as part of an ethnic minority group as well as a religious minority group. Even so, Paul instructs Timothy to pray for kings and all those in authority. I wonder how he felt about that.
I wonder how we should pray for those in authority. Rather than praying that they would comply with our own political or personal wishes, I think we should pray that God would bless them, that he would guide them to make wise decisions, and that they would work together for the wellbeing of the country so that, as Paul says, ‘we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness’.
I think it is interesting that Paul says the outcome of these prayers is that we, not the kings and all those in authority, should live in godliness and holiness. He doesn’t seem to impose Christian morality on others but has a common goal for everyone, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives. This he says is good and pleases God.
But God does have a bigger goal, and that is that everyone would be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth that there is one God and one Saviour, Jesus Christ.
And all of this is a result of praying for the kings and those in authority.
Let us be faithful in prayer for the government, for the royal family and for others in authority in our land.
Almighty God, we pray for grace and wisdom for all in authority, locally, nationally and internationally,
That through their governance all might live peaceful and quiet lives and come to a true knowledge of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
O Lord, hear my prayer