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1 Timothy 2:1-15 (Part 1)

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions 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 …

I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. (verses 1-2, 8 )


I wonder how much our current church culture (at least here in North America) aligns with this passage. It seems that over the last generation Christians have discovered a political voice. I wonder in the process how committed we have remained to a voice of prayer.

Do we actually engage in requests, prayers and intercessions for all those in authority? When we think about the issues of our day – challenges and injustices – where does prayer rank in our response? I am speaking to myself. Am I ready to pray, “wrestling”and “working hard” in it like Paul’s friend Epaphras (Colossians 4:12-13)? Or is my tendency simply to spout off my complaints to whatever human ear happens to be at hand? I confess, I so often tend to the latter.

How about thanksgiving? Paul says it should be offered up for everyone in authority. Everyone? Really? Even those with whom I violently disagree? Apparently so. What difference would it make in my own attitude? What difference would it make in the spiritual realm?

Paul says our focus should be on living peaceful and quiet lives (verse 2), without anger or disputing (verse . If that’s true, how can mean-spirited social media posts or anger-drenched protests in the streets be part of the Christian arsenal? “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world,” Paul says elsewhere (2 Corinthians 10:4). Oh, there will certainly be times for protest and strong words of critique, perhaps even civil disobedience, but we need to guard our attitudes and allow the Spirit to lead.

And we need to pray. “First of all,” Paul says. This is our kingdom calling. What a challenge.

Do I really believe prayer has first rank priority over political action? Do I believe I can make more difference on my knees than elsewhere?

I am challenged by this passage to engage with the current events of my day in a much different way than I’ve been doing. First and foremost, all of it is fodder for prayer. Other steps may rightly come, but only at his direction. First and foremost, it’s prayer.

Lord, help me.


So, Lord, I pray for the events and leaders and challenges and injustices I’ve seen in the paper this morning and on the news last night. I petition you for an outpouring of your wisdom on leaders of my nation, and on leaders of the world.

I want to be thankful for each one in authority, but I confess I’m not even sure how. So, I start by simply thanking you that every leader is in your hands, each created by you in your image, each one capable of being used for your glory. May it be. May we live quiet, peaceful lives. Your kingdom come, your will be done. Amen.


Pray: Stretch into this teaching by choosing one leader in authority whom you strongly oppose. Pray for them. Intercede on their behalf. And, yes, give thanks for them. Rely on the Spirit’s leading in it all.


Photo by Warren on Unsplash

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