by Paul Tautges | January 20, 2021 7:40 am
It’s Inauguration Day in the United States, so I thought I’d remind us all of the biblical duty we have to always be in prayer for government leaders. Let us remember that our sovereign God raises and lowers kings (Dan. 2:21). He alone is worthy of our worship, full allegiance, and trust.
When we as believers commit to praying for our governmental leaders, whether or not we like them, agree with them, or they are Christians, God is pleased with our obedience and faith, and is pleased to work in the hearts of leaders according to His will. In relation to this divinely-given duty, one passage in particular contains fundamental principles every believer needs to understand.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:1–4).
In these verses, we hear the apostle’s plea to us to be obedient to God by praying for our leaders.
Paul begins his exhortation with a phrase that calls attention to the primacy of prayer in the life of the believer and the local church. “First of all” is a plea to keep first things first. It is an appeal not only to individual Christians, but, since the book was originally written to instruct Timothy concerning local church life (3:15), it is a call to churches and their members to place utmost importance on prayer. As a pastor, Timothy needed to guard against prayer being abandoned by members of his flock or subtly replaced by self-reliance.
“I urge” is a strong plea carrying the meaning of “coming alongside in order to exhort.” The same word is used in Romans 12:1: “I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Even though Paul possessed apostolic authority to command Timothy, he chose instead to make a strong appeal to him to recognize the irreplaceable priority of prayer. Paul used four different words to paint a balanced picture of prayer. “Entreaties” refers to prayers prompted by the awareness of needs. “Prayers” is a general term referring to approaching God with reverence. “Petitions” are compassionate prayers generated from empathy with others. “Thanksgivings” are specific praises to God for the works that he has done. The apostolic appeal is general at first and then gets specific. With these words, Paul provides a sampling of prayers that should be made on behalf of “all men,” but especially “for kings and all who are in authority” (vv. 1–2).
“So that” is a clear statement of purpose, which reveals 3 reasons God commands us to pray for our government leaders.
Our government leaders need us; they need us to pray for them with all diligence. This obedient habit pleases God, but is also a powerful means to making a difference for the sake of righteousness in our world and for the sake of the gospel for all eternity. Let us remember that, first and foremost, “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20).
[Adapted from my book, Pray About Everything. Also available for Kindle.]
*This is a repost.
Source URL: https://counselingoneanother.com/2021/01/20/3-reasons-god-wants-you-to-pray-for-president-trump/
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