“Pray … for kings and all those in authority…”
— I Timothy 2:1-3
Five Sunday evenings each year, a group of intercessors from our church gathers for an extended time of music, intercessory prayer, storytelling, and listening to God. One of our gatherings took place on the Sunday evening following a federal election.
In preparing for this event, our planning team took some time to choose a Bible passage. After some discussion, we landed on I Timothy 2:1-3. Paul’s prayer is quite challenging to those who take our discipleship under Jesus seriously.
Paul wrote to Timothy, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority…”
These are challenging words for many Canadian Christians who may not agree with the politics of their governing leaders, no matter the level of government. Paul instructs his readers regarding their relationship to civil authorities. He tells them not only to submit to their leaders, but also to pray for them with diligence.
I found my preparation to teach on these verses a significant challenge to my own discipleship. I learned that I am to pray for my new authority, my Prime Minister. At our prayer gathering that Sunday evening, I found myself also praying with diligence for the Prime Minister’s family. I was moved to pray for divine wisdom and guidance for the Prime Minister, and that the whole family would witness Christ’s love and presence.
Choosing to obey the clear mandates of Scripture is an important part of learning to pray in ways that honour Christ. Prayers that flow out of our commitment to obeying God will result in some of the most honest and Biblical prayers we will ever pray.
Living out our calling to pray without ceasing will always involve a willingness to obey what we are commanded to do in Scripture. Let us each embrace this clear connection between prayer and obedience as we continue on our path of discipleship.
1. Read Romans 13:1-7. Who is the source of all authority?
2. What responsibilities do the civil authorities have in our lives? What responsibilities does Paul say we have?
Matt Boda serves as Lead Pastor of RockPointe Church, a multi-site church in Calgary, Alberta. He and his wife, Jamie, have been married for over thirty years; they have five daughters, four sons-in-law, and three grandchildren.