The first priority in your prayers

In 1 Timothy 2, Paul instructs us to pray for the government. What does he tell us to pray for? First, “for kings and all who are in authority.” Now my experience is that the majority of God’s people scarcely ever pray for those in authority, let alone praying for them first.

What should be the first specific topic for prayer? “All who are in authority”: the president, king, queen, senators, representatives, governors, mayors, police commissioners, all. Do you pray for them? When did you last pray for them? Which did you last do—criticize or pray?

If you pray for people in authority, you will have less to criticize. God did not call you to criticize, He called you to pray. If you are not praying, you are disobedient.

What are we to pray for in relation to those in authority? It is the most logical unfolding of prayer that I can find anywhere in the Bible. In the second part of verse 2, we are told to pray “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” In one simple phrase: “good government.” Would you not agree to that? If we are to live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence, we must have good government.

In verse 3 Paul continues, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” To what does “this” refer? To the preceding clause, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence”—more briefly, “that we may have good government.”

Prayer 

Father, forgive me that I have often not prayed enough for the government, despite the fact that You have clearly ordered it in Your word. Reveal to me how important this is, help me to be faithful in prayer for the government. Lead me by your Holy Spirit so that I can pray intelligently according to the present needs. In the name of Jesus, Amen!

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