The First Priority in Your Prayers

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.


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 king, queen, prime minister, president, elected representatives, governors, mayors, police commissioners, all. Do you pray for them? When did you last pray for them? Which did you last do — criticise or pray?

If you pray for people in authority, you will have less to criticise. God did not call you to criticise, 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 with 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 Saviour." 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, please forgive me that I have not prayed enough for the government, despite the fact that You have clearly ordered it in Your Word. Please show me how important this is, and help me to be faithful in prayer for all those in authority. Please lead me by Your Holy Spirit so that I can pray intelligently in this area. 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, Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting, available here.