Written by Laura Jobe
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 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
Today’s passage is from Paul’s first letter to Timothy, one of his faithful disciples. Paul appointed Timothy to pastor the Ephesian Church. In this new role, young Timothy faced all kinds of battles –particularly the issue of false teachers spreading different doctrines (1:3-7). In today’s economy, this would be similar to self-proclaimed experts spreading fake news. Paul knew that Timothy would need all the prayer and pastoral coaching he could get! Let’s look at Paul’s advice to Timothy…
In verse 1, he begins by issuing a call to prayer. Notice his use of the words “first of all” –giving prayer top priority. We’re to do it first –before anything else. Do you make prayer your first line of defense and a top priority for your day?
Now take a look at how Paul emphasizes the broad scope of prayer. He tells what type of prayers to pray and who we’re to pray for, “all people”. “All” means everyone and reflects God’s love for all people everywhere –He “wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth” (v. 4). As believers, we’re to have the same heart as our loving Father. As intercessors (those who pray on behalf of others), we’re to pray beyond ourselves –even for our enemies (Matt 5:44).
In verse 2, Paul says to pray for “kings and all those in authority.” Because of severe persecution under Emperor Nero, this would have been a very tough thing to do! Compare this to what’s happening today with overseas terrorism and all the hatred being hurled at the leaders in our own country. What should our response be? We’re to pray for them so “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives.”
God in His sovereignty has chosen to release His power through the prayers of His people. What God wants to do on the earth –in our homes, neighborhoods, Shelbyville, Houston, and Brazil & beyond –He’ll do through believers like you and me. How amazing that the God of All Creation has chosen us to do His work through our prayers! IF WE PRAY, we can become God’s “change agents” having influence to affect circumstances and the course of events. Are you putting God to work with your prayers?
Lord, thank You for choosing to work through our prayers to accomplish Your purposes. As You are calling SCC to increased involvement in our community, give us a greater heart for You and for all the people You love. Help us to pray like never before to change ___. (Ask God to reveal a specific need or circumstance to you. Visualize how it might look if God were to change that circumstance. Pray that it will become a reality).