The church my wife and I attend has a large candle on the Communion table that the pastor lights at every worship service before announcing a particular subject for prayer. The focus for prayer each Sunday varies; topics include the government, the poor, the abused, road users, and many more.
The letters to Timothy are likely written at a time when the Roman Empire expects all its people to pay homage to the Emperor. First Timothy calls the early followers of Jesus to pray for those in authority. Today’s passage urges prayers of intercession for government officials so that Jesus’ followers may practice their religion in peace. Ultimately such prayers are for all people so that all will find salvation and the truth in Jesus.
We sometimes find it difficult to put into practice the words written to the early church. If we live in a country where we disagree with the actions and policies of the government, we may feel that our prayers are not being heard as the authorities continue to disregard God’s truth revealed in Jesus.
No matter how we may feel about those who govern, God calls us to pray for them. In praying for those who are in authority in our country, we can pray that they will seek after and do what is right and true. Give some thought to those in authority in your country, state, or province. What in particular do you think you need to pray about so that you and other people may live in peace and in the way of Jesus?
God, help me as I pray for those who govern my city, state or province, and country. May my prayers display your love for all people, and may those who govern come to know your love. Amen.
The “weeping prophet” grieves for the plight of his people. They have provoked God’s judgment by following foreign gods, and now there is no comfort to be found. The psalmist cries out to God from a similar situation of despair. Foreign nations have overrun the land, destroyed Jerusalem, and killed many of its people. The psalmist cries out to God for compassion and restoration. The author of First Timothy gives his readers two commands. They should pray for and honor their leaders, and they should be faithful to the one true God, with whom they have a relationship through Christ Jesus. Jesus in Luke tells a strange parable about a dishonest manager who is commended for his shrewd business sense, but Jesus turns his story to a teaching about good stewardship.
Read Jeremiah 8:18–9:1. When have you called out to God in your distress?
Read Psalm 79:1-9. As you search after a solution to life’s problems, how do you demonstrate God’s call to love and to justice?
Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7. How do you pray for your local, state or province, and national leaders with whom you agree? with whom you disagree?
Read Luke 16:1-13. How do you negotiate the complexities of Jesus’ call to be a good steward of your resources as you seek to serve God rather than money?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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