#DailyDevotion How To Live Godly & Peaceful Lives
1 Tim. 2 I urge you, as most important of all, to ask, pray, plead, and give thanks for all people, 2for kings and all who are over us, so that we may live quietly and peacefully and be godly and noble in every way. 3This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4Who wants all people to be saved and to come to know the truth. 5There is one God, and One Who brings God and men together, the Man Christ Jesus, 6Who gave Himself as a ransom to free all people, and this was announced at the right times. 7For this purpose I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I’m telling the truth and not lying) to teach the non-Jews to believe the truth. So I want the men to pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, not in a mood of anger or argument.
Paul encourages Timothy, and by extension us, to pray. Not just pray but ask, pray, plead and give than for all people, for kings and all authorities. Is there much difference between asking, praying and pleading? Not really. Pleading may seem a bit more intense form of asking. But not this, it isn’t for ourselves, at least not initially. No we are called to pray and the like for others, for all people, kings and authorities. If you pay attention to the general prayer on Sunday in any decent congregation, you will see such prayers being offered up.
And note, Paul says to give thanks. What are we giving thanks for? For all the good things we have already received? That might be part of it but far more likely Paul is saying give thanks for the thinks we just asked about as if they were already answered with yes. No doubt Paul remembers the word of Christ in Mark 11:24 “That’s why I tell you, anything you ask for in prayer, believe that you received it, and you will have it.” If you pray as Jesus teaches and believe you have already received it there is nothing left to do but to give thanks.
Now there is a purpose in these prayers, “that we may live quietly and peacefully and be godly and noble in every way. 3This is good and pleases God our Savior” If we are praying and giving thanks for these people and God is answering our prayers, they will be too busy enjoying all of God’s blessings to give us any trouble. Of course we also won’t be giving them any trouble as we will be submitting to all authorities unless they command us to break God’s laws and our faith in Christ. God also wants us to pray for these people because he wants to them to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth we have in Christ Jesus. How much more will they be at peace with us if they are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Perhaps we are where we are in society today because we don’t pray for them enough or for the right things. Something to ponder and correct if necessary.
Finally we have the foundation of our prayers to our heavenly Father. “One Who brings God and men together, the Man Christ Jesus, 6Who gave Himself as a ransom to free all people, and this was announced at the right times.” Christ, our God and our Brother, sits at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for the Church and for the world the very things he asks us to pray about. Our prayers are joined with his into the ear of the Father. Christ who is the ransom for all people is the reason we can pray for all people, kings and authorities. Jesus holds them up to the Father. We follow suit.
Finally, we are called, everyone, particularly the men, to lift up holy hands in prayer. Ok you don’t have to lift up your hands. But you are still called to pray. And when we pray, we do it without anger or argument. We start with asking for our own forgiveness from others. We then forgive all who have sinned against us. We pray God’s blessing be upon those who oppose us and we do it in love for our Savior Jesus Christ who has done the same for us. Anger and unforgiveness hinders our prayers, i.e. they keep us from praying as he wants us to pray. We are called to intercede and bless, not ignore or curse.
Heavenly Father, we pray you would guide all who are in authority over us with wisdom, justice and mercy. We give you thanks for hearing our prayer and answering it. Remove from us all malice and forgive those who sinned against us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.