Blake Allen, Student and Outreach Minister, LHBC
1 Timothy 2:1-4
1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “all we can do now is pray.” I’ve said this once or twice in my life before. Usually it’s said in response to an unfortunate circumstance that doesn’t seem to be getting better. Though we may believe God can intervene, we typically say this when all hope seems lost. We lose hope. We give up. We walk away believing we have witnessed the end. And prayer becomes the last resort. It is as though we are convinced when Satan says “it is finished,” but in disbelief when our conquering God said “it is finished.”
But the more I consider who God is, the more disturbed I become with this phrase. “All we can do is pray?” You mean the only thing left to do is talk to The Almighty, creator of heaven and earth who spoke everything into existence, breathed life into humanity, parted the Red Sea, stilled the raging storms with the sound of His voice, shut the mouths of lions, raised the dead, set the captives free, broken strongholds, conquered sin and death, and rose on the 3rd day? And all we can do is talk to that guy?
When we wrestle with who God is we can begin to change our outlook on our present circumstances. This includes the political turmoil our world is in. I think we can all agree that 2020 has been one of the most politically divided years. Though the elections are over, our world remains in division. But how should we respond to the outcome of the elections? What should be our attitudes toward the Biden administration going forward? What should our posture be towards those we may or may not have voted for? First Timothy 2 is helpful in this regard. Nero, a Roman emperor, was reigning when the apostle Paul wrote 1 Timothy. Here is a guy who violently tortured Christians, murdered his own wife and mother, and led as a tyrant. And yet Paul’s instructions to Timothy and the church at Ephesus was to PRAY for Nero.
Whether or not you’re pleased with the results of the election, we must adopt an attitude of prayer for our leaders. Paul gives two reasons we are to pray for leaders: 1) Prayer brings peace to our hearts and promotes peace in our world. And when we have the peace of God in our hearts, we will live a life of godliness and dignity. Godliness, dignity, and unity were more important to Paul than being politically correct. Paul didn’t say, “look at what Nero and his soldiers are doing. Paul didn’t write a letter,“the social media of his day,” cursing his Roman neighbors, fighting with others, or slandering his persecutors. Paul calls attention to what the church should be doing, namely, living a life of godliness and dignity. 2) Prayer progresses the Gospel. God desires all to be saved. We need godly leaders in our world. The time has already passed to cast our physical ballots. It is time to cast our spiritual ballots by supporting our leaders in prayer. Pray our leaders would “come to the knowledge of the truth” and lead in a godly manner.
If anything is to be calloused, let us not have calloused hearts but calloused knees from tireless prayer.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Heavenly Father, would you bring peace to our hearts and peace on earth. Would you provide wisdom and guidance to the Biden administration. May the knowledge of truth captivate the hearts of our leaders and direct their paths. Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.