2020 | Week of April 6 | Radio Transcript #1354
The Apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote to Timothy, his son in the faith, in I Timothy 2, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Those are powerful words, written a couple of thousand years before 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic. Our situation is causing government officials worldwide to be making all manner of decisions about something few, if any, of them have any experience in. We are certainly seeing this reality up close and personal in our state.This isn’t about what you or I think of the decisions the president, the governor, the legislature, the courts, or any local officials have made. My appeal is to true Christians to do what Paul is telling Timothy. These verses need to play out in our lives right now perhaps more than ever before.
Paul exhorts Timothy, a word having the idea of urging with a strong appeal or argument. He moves quickly to explain what he wants Timothy to do first. That’s fascinating. He’s saying this is of utmost importance, Timothy; make it a priority. He tells this young preacher/pastor to make supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks for all people; and then immediately adds specifically for kings and all that are in authority. That’s a powerful and powerfully clear exhortation.
Paul even says why we are to pray for these people—so that we can lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty. That’s a noble and very personal reason to pray for those in authority at all levels of government, to be sure, especially right now.
This passage, while it singles out kings and all that are in authority, is generally applicable to all people; and verses 3 and 4 deliver the real punch-line, so to speak. First, we are to pray for all men, including kings and all those in authority, because it is good and acceptable in the sight of our God. That’s reason enough to pray for all men—including kings and those in authority. And then verse 4 reminds us, God our Savior wants “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” In other words, our prayers should be, at a minimum, for the salvation of those for whom we are praying—including elected officials here in America.
So here’s the question? Do we regularly pray for the salvation of those who represent us in government? For school board members, city council members, mayors, town or village board supervisors, county board supervisors, your state representative, your state senator, the Governor, your member of congress, our US Senators, our judges, our president? If there were ever a time these officials need our prayers, it is now.
What to pray for? First their salvation—and please assume they aren’t saved unless you know for sure they are. Do we care enough for the souls of those elected to represent us in this country that we will pray for them to accept Christ as their Savior? This is about way more than today, right here and now and political or policy issues. This is about eternity.
Second, pray that if they refuse to come to faith in Christ, that God will rule and overrule in the decisions they make, in the votes they take, and in the influence they have. Why? So that we can lead that quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Pray for their families; pray that they would have someone in their life who will confront them with the truth of the Gospel. For those you know are Christians, pray for wisdom, protection, courage to be a leader and to stand strong in the midst of enormous pressure to abandon their Christian principles and beliefs.
During this week as we prepare to commemorate the death, burial and glorious resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, even in the midst of this pandemic and election chaos here in our state, may our love for God the Father Who gave His only begotten Son on our behalf and our love for others cause us to care enough to pray, to really intercede on behalf of, those who are in authority making decisions that are so dramatically affecting our lives now and have the potential to affect us for decades. May God find us faithful in our obedience in this area of prayer.
For Wisconsin Family Council, this is Julaine Appling, reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.