Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (I Timothy 2:1-2)
There is a tension in our land, even amongst our friends, and within families on the outcome of our national election. Either celebration, frustration or surrendered apathy is felt and displayed. Wonderfully the Word gives the believer clear and helpful instruction for navigation of these matters. It is a matter of prayer… but not prayer for removal or a redo, rather there are four specifics we are given regarding such prayer specifically for our leaders.
First, notice there are four verbs given with such prayer. Why not just use the singular word of prayer? The instruction is both subtle and rich. Supplications indicates there is a significant need, or something very lacking. Just what is that lack? Their great need, like ours, is that of a savior. Specifically, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Second we are to pray. Unlike request of need, prayers are an act of worship. Prayer for the unsaved is an act of worship. One of many reasons we are to pray for the unbeliever is that thanksgiving may abound to the glory of God (II Cor. 4:15). As they become saved from their sin, the worship of God increases because of their giving worship and praise to Him.
Also my own attitude changes… I go from complaint to concern. Intercessions, is nuanced in its idea of involvement. Though not likely to be invited to the White House, or a congressional office, our involvement becomes that of compassion and concern for the eternal souls of those in power. We are apt to leave our tendency of frustration with policy or personality and become compassionate and concerned for the soul of that very person of power…regardless of their policies or follies.
Finally, and fourthly, giving of thanks. The leader, like Nero when Paul penned this exhortation, may be one for whom we are not naturally thankful. But the fact that we can be involved, through the mysterious influence of prayer for our leader’s salvation is a great reason for thanks. Such God-given, tremendous privilege we are given! From Psalm 75:3– God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another. I can be thankful for His ultimate sovereignty, and in that, His goodness.
The Word reveals our citizenship is in heaven, and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. God knows our easy inclination towards disappointment and frustration with our leaders. Wisely let our frustration be used as a trigger for prayer. Choose to avoid cynicism, anger and discouragement. His ways are much higher than ours…fix your eyes on no-one but Jesus…
Hebrews 12:3 —For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
Choose to be encouraged, choose to focus on Him!
A song for meditation