“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, NIV)
As Paul wrote to Timothy, his true son in the faith, it surprises me that the first thing on his heart was not the concerns of the church or even his concerns for Timothy. Paul’s first concern was that request, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone and especially for those in authority.
I think about this as tomorrow we begin a forty-day prayer commitment to “Seek God for the City” (www.waymakers.org). As I consider the tremendous problems currently facing our country, I see the wisdom in Paul’s instruction. How our leaders need wisdom to conquer our problems! How they need to know the Lord personally! Our president, senators, representatives, judges, governors, police officers and leaders in every branch of government need mercy, wisdom and help that God alone can give.
We all agree that it is important to exercise our civic duty by educating ourselves on the candidates, issues and policies and voting our conscience. But are we as passionate to lift them up in prayer? I must confess my own weakness here. In my ever-increasing prayer list, governmental leaders often shake down to the bottom of my stack! I am ashamed of this fact.
Paul told Timothy that prayer for leaders was his first ministry priority in order that people could enjoy peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. Envision communities that are peaceful and quiet throughout our nation. Imagine godliness and holiness ruling over all the people. This is the power we have as believers in Jesus Christ to change the tide. Honestly, I can’t think of a more important pastime.
As tomorrow we begin to “Seek God for Our City,” let’s keep in mind that whether they realize it or not our leaders depend on our prayers. With God’s help let’s endeavor to be as faithful in our duty as we expect them to be in theirs!
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