Praying for Those in Authority

Praying for Those in Authority

Each one of us lives under a certain government system ruled by different leaders. These government officials have a huge responsibility to govern diverse people with various backgrounds and beliefs by making decisions that affect their lives as citizens of that nation or area. Included among these citizens are God’s born-again sons and daughters. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have been given a very important responsibility to pray for those in authority—those who govern our nations and areas—that their decisions will allow us to live for God with tranquility and peace. Our prayers for them help to ensure our freedom to live God’s Word without any fear.

I Timothy 2:1-3:
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions,
and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and
for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
For this
is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.

Let’s examine some key words in these verses that will help us to deepen our understanding regarding praying for those in authority. To “exhort” means to beseech. This is not a command, it is an invitation. God asks us, invites us, to pray.

“Supplications” means wants, needs, or petitions for a special object. In supplications there’s an emphasis on continued effort until the prayer is answered. Something we may consider along these lines could be to pray for our government officials to have people surrounding them that help them to make wise decisions.

“Prayers” in I Timothy 2:1 can be defined as prayers offered to God that give prominence to personal devotion. These prayers focus on God’s power and emphasize our personal devotion to Him.

God freely invites us to pray; we freely commit ourselves to do so. Ephesians 6:18 indicates that we are to continue in prayer with all perseverance. Our prayers are not passive but active and can require strength, persistence, and endurance.

“Intercessions” are requests made concerning others and on their behalf. Two levers of power in prayer we can use when interceding are (1) prayer with our understanding and (2) prayer with or in the spirit, which is speaking in tongues. When we know what we can pray for, we can pray with our understanding. When we don’t know what to pray for, we can pray with the spirit. God has it covered when we know what to pray for and when we don’t!

“Giving of thanks” means to show oneself grateful. This is our attitude when we pray.

I Thessalonians 5:18:
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

This verse says IN everything give thanks. It is not always available to give thanks FOR everything, but IN everything we can find something to be thankful for. Just knowing our prayers have an impact can cause us to be thankful when we pray.

I Timothy 2:2:
For kings, and
for all that are in authority….

In the days when I Timothy was written, kings were in authority. Today, regardless of the type of authority, “kings” would include national, state, or local leaders.

I Timothy 2:2:
…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

This is the purpose or aim of our prayers. This is God’s will for our lives! “Quiet” means free from all agitation or disturbance from without, and “peaceable” means tranquility arising from within. Our prayers for those in authority help us to live with God’s tranquility from without and within. Isn’t that wonderful?

The word “life” means our manner of life. We are to live life in all godliness and honesty. “Godliness” is a true and vital spiritual relationship with our heavenly Father and involves a genuine heart fellowship. “Honesty” can be defined as gravity, or dignified seriousness. We do our best to live God’s Word blamelessly and with integrity. We want those in authority to make decisions that allow us to freely live God’s Word with godly integrity, without any fear of doing so.

I Timothy 2:3:
For this
is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.

When we pray for those in authority to allow us to live in all godliness and honesty, God says that it is “good and acceptable.” “Good” means it is beautiful; “acceptable” means pleasing. Why is it beautiful and pleasing in the sight of God for us to pray for those in authority? So that we can live for God freely—in all godliness and honesty. We are to shine as lights in this world (Philippians 2:15) by living according to God’s Word, so that God is glorified (Matthew 5:16).

As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have a very important responsibility to pray for those in authority. Our prayers have a powerful impact in providing the freedom for believers in our nations and communities to live and stand for God without fear. This truly is beautiful and pleasing to God.

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