A Quiet and Peaceable Life
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, 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. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
— 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NKJV)
One of the most basic mandates for the Christian is to pray for the government. God intends His church to exercise a decisive influence for good in the affairs of the nations.
A Quiet and Peaceable Life
In 1 Timothy 2, we are exhorted to pray "for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence". Why does God want quietness and order and good government? For a very real and practical reason. Because He "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth".
Under what circumstances is it easier to bring the truth to all men? Under a government that is just and impartial and maintains law and order and civil liberties? Or under a government that cannot suppress violence and disorder and cannot control the situation and is unjust and dictatorial? Which kind of government makes it easier to bring the truth to all men?
Any sensible person would have to answer: a good government. That is why God wants good government because it forwards the propagation of the gospel, which is His aim in this dispensation. There is nothing difficult, there is nothing complicated, it is entirely sensible and practical.
Let me say it again. The Bible says: first of all in Christian activity—pray. The first topic for prayer is "all who are in authority". What are we to pray for? That we may lead a godly, quiet and peaceable life. Why are we to pray this way? Because that helps to propagate the gospel. Is that not logical? It is not a remote mystery. Thank God, the mysteries have been dispelled by the light of God’s Word! It is plain, it is practical, it is simple, it is down-to-earth, it works.
I believe that it is the will of God for us to have a good government. Let us not talk about other countries or nations. Good government for your own nation is the will of God.
What does the Bible say will happen if we pray for things according to God’s will? 1 John 5:14-15 tells us: "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."
In other words, if you know that you are praying according to the will of God, then you know that God hears you; and if you know that God hears you, you know you have the petition that you presented. If it is the will of God for this nation to have good government, and if we pray for good government knowing it is the will of God, we know that God hears us; and if we know that God hears us, we know we have the petition that we desired. If we do not have a good government, what is the reason? God’s people have not met His conditions and prayed.
Father, I recognise my responsibility and I promise to pray for the authorities as a matter of priority. I want to see my country healed and to see people repent and turn to You. Help me not to criticise anymore, but rather to pray. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
These messages are taken from Derek Prince's book, Praying for the Government, available in our webshop here. For further study, we also recommend his book, Secrets of a Prayer Warrior, available here.