1 Timothy 2:1-2 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession 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.
This passage is appropriate at all times, but never more so than right now in America, with a highly contentious election just behind us and an inauguration coming up this week. Most of us pray for our family and friends, if we pray at all. Active Christians are likely to pray for the sick, and hopefully for those who are persecuted, but a remarkably small percentage pray for those in government. There are exceptions of course, and perhaps – hopefully – recent events have increased that number. America is getting a fresh government that looks set to undo a number of distinctly anti-Biblical policies of recent years, but it is hardly without problems. The individuals involved are deeply flawed, as are we all. Because of America’s position in the world, it is beholden on all Christians, not just American Christians, to pray for the new American government, because if that government is good, it will be easier for people all over the world to “live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” At the same time, it is vitally important that American Christians not think that the government is the root and the answer to the nation’s problems. The past 200+ years have been a unique experiment in world history, because never before has a nation had the kind of representative government that exists in America. Such a thing was a wild pipe dream in Paul’s day. As a number of observers commented in the early years of the American experiment, such a government was and is possible only when the majority of the population holds to Biblical principles and standards (whether or not they obey them on a personal level). God arranged for the massive revival known as The Great Awakening just before the Revolutionary War. Without that revival, the experiment would have collapsed within a century. America today is in need of another, even greater revival. Every believer needs to get honest before God about their own priorities and lifestyle and repent as He indicates. For example, studies show us that well over 60% of Christian men have a problem with pornography, and that is far from the only addiction that is rampant in the Church. Such repentance needs to be parallel with the prayer Paul calls for here. If America will do that, as individuals and as a nation, then the forces of evil in the world will suffer a massive defeat.
Wow! I didn’t expect to write that this morning, though I got a bit of a hint of it when I quoted this passage in the message yesterday. I am not a resident of America, but prayer knows no boundaries, and personal holiness is called for in every human being. I have been more emotionally involved in American politics the past few years than ever before in my life, and that has impacted my prayers, though not enough. There are many areas in which I need to grow in prayer! I need to continue to be careful of my own lifestyle and priorities and I need to be sacrificial in my prayer life, spending the time called for to exercise the authority of the Name of Jesus as He intends. Yesterday I spoke on “Kings and Priests,” from 1 Peter 2:9. I need to lead by example in fulfilling those roles, so that more and more would do likewise, for God’s glory.
Father, thank You for this strong Word. Keep me from going on and leaving it behind, as though having recorded it I have fulfilled it. Help me live out the truth You speak to and through me, so that Your name may be acknowledged as holy and Your kingdom come as Your will is done, right here on earth as it is in heaven, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!