Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Just a thought... (again)
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." 1 Timothy 2:1-2
A couple of years ago, about halfway through our current president's first term, I noticed Christians doing a lot of criticizing of him but no mention of prayer for him. As the election approached, the comments got worse and worse, and still almost no mention of prayer.
During the last president's terms in office, I heard many people talk about praying for the president, even forming prayer groups for him. Where are those requests now? Why aren't we calling for prayer for the current president?
In this passage, Paul is writing to Timothy who is in Ephesus. The ruler for whom he was telling them to pray? Nero. Do you remember what Nero did to Christians? He used them as torches to light parties. He tied them to posts, poured oil over them, and lit them on fire. This is the man for whom Paul told the people to pray!
Why do we feel justified in calling for prayer for one man and not for another? Not only does Paul call on us to pray for those in authority, but he also tells us to pray for everyone. Everyone. There are some people for whom I find it hard to think of praying, yet, Paul is not giving us a chance to choose those for whom we pray. He tells us to pray for everyone, not to criticize, to pray.
What would happen if we took the time to pray for everyone, to pray for those in authority, to pray for our president? How would our attitudes change? How would our words change? How would our world change?
Anyone up for a challenge in February? February is when we celebrate Presidents' Day in the US, right? For the next month, I am going to take time each day to pray for our leaders (since I live in Japan, I will pray for both countries' leaders). Will you join me?