By, Benjamin H. Liles
Therefore I exhort [urge, encourage] first of all that supplications [entreaties, petitions], prayers, intercessions [interventions, mediations], and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-2
To be able to lead a life of godliness in a quiet and peaceable way, and with an attitude of reverence, we should – as Christians – pray for those in authoritative positions. I know it’s a hard thing to do considering how much we often disagree with those who have what seem to be power and authority. But that’s exactly what Paul is saying Christians ought to do. Jesus Christ made it abundantly clear when He said, “This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8).
Since Jesus is the visible manifestation of God the Father, and He did the will of the Father, it stands to reason that both God – the Father – and Jesus Christ are authors of love and grace. But we have this concept that God is far off, aloof, and uncaring. Don’t we? Before I fully go off tangent here, the point I’m making is that Christians need to fulfill the command that God gave: to love others. In spite what is done to us, we need to love and live in peace – as best as possible.
About the notion that God is love, which He is, is a hard thing to understand. In the Old Testament we often see a God who looks and seems harsh and uncaring, but He only “seemed and acted” that way towards those who deemed themselves higher than Him. Those rulers often did their own thing, not acknowledging their right to rule to the One who put them there: God. So far, in everything I’ve written, regarding these daily verses that I comment on, God is both love and puts people where they are best suited according to the gift He’s given them.
While some people are gifted with the ability to teach, others are gifted with the ability to make things, others the ability to speak or write well, etc. No matter our life’s paths we are encouraged, as Paul says, to bring those in authority before Him in prayer, offering thanks for their ability to rule and have authority. The only way to live a quiet and peaceful life, even though it’s hard to do, is to pray on their behalf, asking Him to guide them, to be mediators on their behalf.