Praying for Kings

Read: 1 Timothy 2:1-8

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer.  This day of prayer is held on the first Thursday of May each year.  It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.  As their website states, “It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families.”

In 1 Timothy 2 Paul encourages us to do exactly this.  He writes, “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 quite lives in all godliness and holiness.”  On down in verse 8 he writes, “I want everyone everywhere to lift innocent hands toward heaven and pray, without being angry or arguing with each other.”

I often wonder if we have forgotten about these instructions in God’s Word.  This is not the only place in scripture that we are encouraged to pray for the world, for our country, and for the leaders.  In fact, this should not only happen once a year, it should happen daily and weekly.  Prayer brings focus to what our true desire should be; to see God’s will be done.

When we disagree with leaders or feel like our country is headed down the wrong path our first action should be to fall on our knees in prayer.  We need to be repentant, hopeful, thankful, and ask Jesus what we can do to bring forth his kingdom here on earth.  A part of that prayer also needs to lift up the leaders as Paul encourages us to do.

We need to realize that when Paul wrote those words Nero was the leader (emperor) of the Roman world at that time.  He was a notoriously cruel ruler that had Christians persecuted and killed.  Paul himself was one of them.  And yet when he writes this letter he encourages Timothy and the churches to pray for the leaders.

One final thought.  Maybe praying can help to diffuse our anger?  Politics and other things can often get conversations heated rather quickly.  While it’s okay to have opinions, feelings, and thoughts about what is best for our country it may help most if we humble ourselves and pray like God’s Word tell us to do.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

Make it personal:  Tomorrow, on the National Day of Prayer I encourage you to join me in praying for our country, our leaders, our churches, our communities, and ourselves.  That we may play the part Christ wants us to play in bringing hope, restoration, and healing to this world.  May we seek God’s will as we seek to bring forth his kingdom to this earth.  And then let’s continue to pray all year long!

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church