A few more thoughts on the elections…
Now that the voting is over and we know who will be our next president, the Scriptures make it clear what the church’s first responsibility is: Prayer. In Paul’s first letter to Timothy he gives instruction to the church:
1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 8I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling… (1 Timothy 2)
What does this mean to us today? Allow me to emphasize three main points: 1) What we are to do 2) To what end are we to do it, and 3) Why we are to do it. I will address points one and two in today’s Kingdom Perspective, and then point three in the next.
First, Paul calls us to pray for all people, but particularly rulers (i.e. kings and all…in high positions). What is amazing is that Paul was writing this as one living under the rule of Rome, a government that would eventually behead him and had already crucified Jesus. By Christian standards, Rome was often oppressive and cruel. Yet, Paul calls the church to pray with “thankgivings”(v. 1) and not with “anger…or quarreling” (v. 8). If this were true in that ancient context, how much more for ours! Regardless of what you may think of McCain or Obama and their policies, or Bush for that matter, they all look pretty good compared to Caesar.
So, we are to intercede for our rulers with thanksgiving, praying that we all “may lead a peaceful and quiet life”. This is the second main point. What are we to pray for? To what end? We are to pray for peace and harmony in our world. Presumably in Paul’s mind this peace is not an end in and of itself, but rather a means to an end, for he adds “godly and dignified in every way”. In other words we pray in this way, so that we may be able to more fully proclaim the gospel and live out its implications in our world.
Are you thanking God and praying for our elected officials, “godly and dignified in every way”?
Something to think about from “The Kingdom Perspective”.