“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1 Timothy 2:1–2, ESV)
This is a convicting exhortation, because the tendency so often is to criticize those in high positions rather than pray for them. But think about how it would affect our own hearts if, instead of criticizing and complaining about civil authorities, we prayed for them. It’s important to realize that when Paul wrote this, the emperor was Nero, who persecuted Christians. This means we ought to pray for civil leaders whether or not we like them, whether or not they are believers, whether their worldview is supportive of or antagonistic toward the Christian worldview.
Let us pray for our leaders. Maybe you’re tempted to think that criticism and complaints will have more of an impact than prayer, but the Bible tells us otherwise. As we pray for the president and governors and mayors and judges and members of the congress and senate, who knows what God will be pleased to do through those prayers—for the spread of the Gospel and the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage and the protection of the freedoms we enjoy in this country. I’m inspired by this passage to pray earnestly for our leaders, to pray that God will bring those to faith in Jesus who do not yet know Him, and that they would live upright lives and be men and women of integrity, that they would stand for justice and make wise decisions.
As we ask God for these things we must also use the freedom we have to pursue a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. Think about the amazing freedom we have in this country. Think about the amazing opportunities we have to study God’s Word and have fellowship with other believers and talk about the Gospel openly with friends and family and co-workers and even strangers. We should not take these freedoms for granted, but thank God for them and use them to pursue godliness and the spread of the Gospel.