This is a big week for politics in America. I need to say I am not sympathetic with believers who put their hope in politics. However hopeful or cynical you may be about the election this week, it is crucial that believers join together in prayer for those who govern our country. In his first letter to Timothy Paul admonished us to pray for them.
“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Do you pray every day for our president? Are you praying for God’s hand on individuals in Congress?
The reason the scripture gives for this is so we may live peaceful quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. It is important to understand that government affects our lives as much today as it did in the Roman Empire where Paul urged Timothy to lead people to pray for their ungodly leaders. For many of us the complexities of politics are too complicated to unravel. But they are not too complicated for God. I read a review in Books & Culture this week of a book called The Myth of Persecution. The book disputed the stories of persecution in the early church. The author made the pedantic distinction between persecution and prosecution. She said it was not persecution if Rome was simply prosecuting Christians for shaking up the fragile stability of the empire. I suspect the same distinction could be made about much 21st century persecution.
Government effects our lives even if it is not necessarily aimed at persecuting Christians. We are living in days when Christian values are no longer a major influence upon the thinking of those who make the laws and determine the values of our culture. Make no mistake, spiritual and cosmic issues are involved in politics. But we pray to the God who is sovereign over the Kings and governors of the earth.