2 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to theknowledge of the truth.
I hope today’s passage challenges you. Well, I hope every passage you read from the bible challenges you, but I think our country needs to hear this one today. I know it challenges me constantly. It’s hard for us to pray for those we don’t agree with, isn’t it? Especially when they have some sort of power or authority over us. We might pray for deliverance from under their authority, but how often do we stop to pray about their relationship with God?
We must pray for our leaders, whoever they are. Whether they are Republican, Democrat, Leftist, Marxist, Communist, Christian, Muslim, Athiest, or any other “flavor” you want to throw in there that you might not agree with, we cannot complain about our leaders until we start praying for them. I think verse 2 might be misunderstood in this light. We can very easily look at it to mean that if we pray for our leaders, God will change them and then we will lead a tranquil and quiet life. Logically, that doesn’t make sense because if everyone agreed with a specific leader, there would be no individuality. It’s impossible for all of us to agree with a leader’s decisions because we are all unique. The secret to understanding what Paul is teaching Timothy here is the rest of verse 2 and verse 3.
He’s talking about compassion instead of criticism. When we can get to a place where we have understanding, compassion, concern, and respect for those who have worldly authority over us, we can then begin to leave a tranquil and peaceful life. Why? Because we align ourselves with God’s will, which is detailed in verse 4, and we begin to see things from a different perspective.
Instead of being angry at a bill Obama is trying to have passed, we will begin to see the immense complexity of a leader trying to do what they think is best (even if its not). Instead of bashing your company’s employee decisions on Facebook, we will begin to understand how hard it is to keep a balance between how many people you can employ and making sure you have enough money to pay them.
Criticism fueled by frustration doesn’t help anyone, including ourselves. Sincere prayer and petition to God about the situations we find ourselves in as an employee, a citizen, or a child will change our perspective and actually release us from the burdens we find ourselves in. Don’t you want to have a tranquil and quiet life?