“You should pray for rulers and for all who have authority. Pray for these leaders so that we can live quiet and peaceful lives–lives full of devotion to God and respect for him” (1 Timothy 2:2 ERV).
1 Timothy 2:2 not only directs us to pray for those in positions of authority, it also defines the intended result: “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (NET).
A stable civil government, freedom from persecution, and the ability to live quietly and peacefully are things worth praying for. While no form of human government is ideal, the opportunity to lead quiet and peaceful lives is beneficial for anyone. We can look to the experience of Old Testament Israel to illustrate this idea.
When Israel’s continued disregard for God’s Word led to their deportment and exile to a foreign land, God sent this message through the prophet Jeremiah…
“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters–that you may be increased there, and not diminished.
And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace” (Jeremiah 29:4-7).
In one sense, God’s people are stewards and caretakers in the nations where He has placed them. Part of that responsibility involves praying for those in authority and working to honor Christ in our sphere of influence. Since there are no guarantees that life tomorrow will be the same as today, we should take advantage of the opportunities we have to pray now. As Jesus reminded us in the New Testament Gospel of John…
“All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, for there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end” (John 9:4 TLB).
If our current political environment should ever change to our detriment, we should never let it be due to the fact that we failed to follow these instructions in 1 Timothy 2:2 and neglected to pray for our leaders.