Word For The Day: Praying For Government
The Word for the Day comes from 1 Timothy 2:2. Remember we are looking at the BIG IDEA of praying for the advancement of the gospel. Yesterday we saw the priority of prayer in verse 1. Today we are looking at the people for whom we pray and why we pray for them.
Paul identities the people for whom we pray. At the end of verse 1 he tells Timothy to pray for all people. In verse 2 he instructs Timothy to pray for “kings and all who are in high position”. In other words, we are to pray for people at all levels of government. Paul is quick to tell us why we are to pray for these folks. Notice verse 2 reads “so that we can lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way”. The principle here is to pray for government leaders to manage society in such a way that we can live out our faith for the advancement of the gospel.
We need to be careful how we apply this principle in our prayer life. We need to avoid two extremes. The first is that we are not to pray asking God to advance our political party or agenda. The other extreme we must avoid is a refusal to pray for government leaders because we don’t like a particular official. Perhaps a third danger to keep in mind is that we are not to pray so we can live pampered and protected lives. We pray for government officials to manage and organize society in a way that helps us live out our faith and freely proclaim the gospel.
NOW WHAT: Do we pray for government officials? If we do, for what do we pray? Are we praying for our political agenda or social causes to be advanced? I would offer two NOW WHAT applications. First, let’s pray as the Bible instructs us, asking God to direct the decisions of government leaders for us to freely live and proclaim the gospel. There is great hope as we pray for this, as God directs the heart of our leaders (see Proverbs 21:1). The second application is to take advantage of the wonderful freedom we have living in Zambia to live out and proclaim the gospel.
May God grant us obedience before Him as we live out what we pray!