I am writing this Seed just before the General Election in the UK. By the time you read it the result will be known and there will be a newly elected government in place. For some the outcome will be a cause of elation, for some disappointment. Whatever our feelings and opinions are, however, we are exhorted to pray for the Government and for the Prime Minister.
In today’s verse Paul urges Timothy to do this “first of all”. It should be a first priority for every citizen of every nation to be praying for those in authority over them. The reason for this is clear – “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” People often complain about their politicians and about the state of their nations, but I wonder how much in each situation is due to a lack of prayerfulness on the part of God’s people.
It seems that in many ways our nation and its leaders have turned their back on God by passing laws that overturn His ordinances for mankind. However, this doesn’t mean that we should give up and stop praying! It should make us turn to prayer all the more. Paul was writing to Timothy when Israel was under oppressive Roman rule, as well as having corrupt spiritual leadership, and he was urging prayer for those in authority. We need to be praying for wisdom for our leaders, and for an awareness for them of the responsibilities they carry under God. We should pray too that they will turn to Him. Remember that the prayer of a righteous man (or woman) is powerful and effective (James 5:16).
Many in the UK have been praying for more Christian MPs to be elected to Parliament – men and women who will stand up for God’s laws and His truth in what has become an increasingly secular society. We need to pray especially for them, as they often face considerable opposition when they speak up for Kingdom values, especially on pro-life issues.
In order to pray effectively we need to be informed. We need to know what is happening in our nation and we also need to be asking God for understanding of the times we are in and for His discernment to know how to pray. We need to be like the men of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32, who “understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”
Prayer: Father God, I am sorry that I haven’t always remembered to pray for those in authority. Please prompt me to do this regularly, and teach me how to pray with understanding of the times in which we live. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.