“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:1-4
If there are things that are “good and pleasing in the sight of God”, I want to make sure I’m making that a part of my life! Here in 1 Timothy 2, Paul tells us that prayer for our nation and it’s leaders is one of those things that are “good and pleasing” to God. Now why is that? I can think of at least three reasons.
First, prayer for our nation and leaders is pleasing to God because it helps remind us that this nation – whether it chooses to recognize it or not – is still in God’s hands and dependent upon His mercy. For that reason the future of this nation (and our happiness in it) depends more on what happens in your house as you pray than it does on the White House and it’s decisions.
Second, God is pleased when we pray for our nation and leaders because prayer is the means God uses to build up our trust in Him and bring His will to bear on earth. Remember how Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt 6:10). Through prayer, God works to strengthen our faith in heaven and accomplish His will on earth. And then,
Third, God is pleased when we pray for our nation and its leaders because this is how He enables us to live peaceful, quiet, grace-filled lives in the midst of this turbulent world. You might notice that at no point does he tell us this life will be easy, or that we’ll always enjoy the government’s favor. In fact, as Paul writes these words, Emperor Nero was on the throne in Rome getting ready to unleash fierce persecution against the church. Yet, despite that coming trial, Paul urges us, as God’s faithful people, to pray for those in power, knowing that God is in control and we are in His hands.
As we celebrate the 4th remember from where true freedom comes.