“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity ” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, NLT).
The Apostle Paul instructs Timothy to pray for all men. We all know people who need salvation, encouragement, correction, health and a myriad of other things. Really, we all have needs. From the lowest to the highest, our resources are not sufficient. Paul believed timothy could make a difference in people’s lives by interceding for them in prayer.
A prayer for a better job, a petition for a sick child, spouse or friend, thanks for a financial need met – we can share in all these things. There is a rich blessing in praying for others, or intercession. I hope you have a running prayer list of individual for whom you pray. I hope my name is on that list!
Paul specifically tells us to pray for ‘kings and all who are in authority’. We blame our leaders for the situations we find ourselves in from day to day. The accusation can be made equally at us if we fail to intercede for these people. In America, we elect many “in authority” ourselves. They are there by our own hand and we will not support them with prayer. We place them in a position that exposes them publicly to difficult decisions and thorny situations and then complain rather than pray for them. We act surprised or indignant when they turn out to be made of the same dust of the earth as ourselves. The irony is staggering. Whether you agree with their politics or not, if we have any hope for a ‘tranquil and quiet life’, it is in praying for our leaders. If you don’t agree with them or didn’t vote for them, I would say it is all the more reason to pray for that leader.
Start by humbling your own heart and pray for the leader who causes you the most consternation. Add others as your time and desire permit.
Lord Jesus, Give us hearts to be men and women of prayer. Fill us with the desire to change our leadership, our families, our friends and even our enemies through intercession. Guard our times of prayer and please help us to be consistent in that time. Amen.