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Pray For People, Especially Those With Authority

1 Timothy 2:1-4
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. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (NIV)

Prayer is an essential part of life for God’s people. Paul urged Timothy to make sure that prayer remained a priority for the church. Not just praying for themselves, but for everybody in the community especially those people who had power. Even though the rulers at that time did not believe in Jesus, God still had the right to direct their behaviour. Although they did not know it, they were acting as God’s agents (Romans 13:1-7) and He wanted communities to be good places to live.

God also wants the governing authorities to let people hear the gospel, so that the people may turn to the Lord and be saved. Although the church does grow under persecution, it cannot flourish without the government allowing the people of God to worship and teach the Bible publically. God is not just interested in Christians; He loved the whole world and sent Jesus to pay for the sins of every person in the world. So God is pleased whenever someone repents, giving their lives to Jesus.

So in addition to praying for the community, we should pray for the leaders that they will not obstruct the gospel. It is right to ask God to take action to soften the hearts of the power-holders, and pray God’s blessing on them. It is right to thank God for all His blessings which come to the community and the church through the government. A church which has no interest in its local community is not a gospel church, and Christians who do not pray for the local, national and global power-holders need to take Paul’s instruction to Timothy as a personal message to revise their prayer life.

Oh God who answers prayer. Thank You for loving the whole world including those who ignore You and even hate You. I am sorry when I have not bothered to pray for the power-holders in my community or the government of my country. Please help me to take Paul’s instruction seriously, so that I will fulfil my God-given role as an intercessor and have the joy of seeing how You change the authorities so that the gospel will be freely accessible to those who seek You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams