“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;”I Timothy 2:1-3
Our pastor preached from this same passage recently, and while my flesh did not like the message, I know it was the truth. He preached about how we are to pray for everyone in our life, even those who lead our country. He spoke of Nero who was in charge at the time Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, and how evil and wicked Nero was. Nero was so wicked that he even had his mom executed because she did not agree with him. Our political scene is in dire straits, but I am pretty sure it is not as bad as it was in the days of Nero.
I enjoy listening to podcasts about politics, and I am guilty of dabbling in a political book or two. I try not to get too caught up in politics, but lately, I have immersed myself into it probably more than I should. Our political landscape is pushing an agenda that is ungodly, and we have exchanged the truth for the lies that suit us best. Absolute truth has been replaced by our own perceived truth, which is not truth. I have been disappointed in the outcomes and decisions that have been made, and I will share with anyone who will listen my political viewpoint.
Our pastor was not giving us the layout of the Roman Empire so we could compare our government with theirs. Instead, he wanted to paint the picture of how Timothy was instructed by Paul to pray for those in authority – even Nero. Paul knew how bad things were, and he also understood the importance of praying for our leaders. He told Timothy to not complain, and to pray. He understood things seemed dire, but he knew things were not hopeless. He knew all about the importance of prayer, and he fully understood the power of God as he came face to face with that power on the road to Damascus. He knew no one was beyond being changed as he was one of those on the “least likely to be saved” list. There is no one beyond being saved, and there is no change like the change that comes from being redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
Initially, I did not like this message as there are some for whom I do not pray and honestly, there are some I do not even want to pray for. I do not want to pray for those with whom I disagree, but I was convicted that I need to pray for our leaders and those in government. I can take pot shots at our political leaders, or I can pray for them as God has commanded me to. God is pleased with our obedience, and praying for our leaders is acceptable in His sight. God does not say that we must agree with those in charge, but He has told us to pray for them. How different would our government be if we prayed as we should and saw some come to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Do you think their salvation would make a difference in their lives? Did it make a difference in yours? May we be faithful in praying for those God has allowed to be in charge, and may we be quick to get on our knees and slow to complain.