“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (I Timothy 2:1-3).
The Apostle Paul’s command that we pray for authorities in order that we may “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” involves two aspects of God’s peace.
First, we ask that He would lead our leaders to make wise, intelligent and honest decisions that benefit the populace at large, as well as individuals. This requires wisdom far beyond human capacities, and often far beyond the inclinations of those in authority. Many are not believers, of course, and have no regard for Divine guidance and help. Nevertheless, our prayers lead to God’s influence upon even the most ungodly. This does not mean that their decisions always reflect such influence, but it does make far more likely the moving of God’s Spirit upon leaders as we obey our Father’s command to pray.
The second aspect of “a quiet and peaceable life” involves the peace of heart that results from faithful obedience to God. He commands us to pray for authorities. Failure to do so inevitably involves the forfeiture of the quiet and peace fostered by doing what He tells us to do. Regardless of how authorities respond to God’s moving upon them in response to our intercessions, we can be absolutely sure of His moving upon us as we pray. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee” (Isaiah 26:3). Peace results, along with the “godliness and honesty” that glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ within our hearts, and through our attitudes, words and actions.
Times such as these certainly require good leaders. Good leaders require the prayers of God’s trusting children in Christ. As one who far too often frets and criticizes rather than prays, I want to take Paul’s command far more seriously in days to come. For me, and for every believer regarding this vital matter, our Lord promises quiet, peace, godliness and honesty in even the most troubled time. May we respond to His moving within us to intercede for human authorities as the expression of our faith and submission to Divine authority.
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”