Read 1 Timothy 2:1-8
Over the course of some of the Mark series, “Inside Out,” we looked at many different types of prayer. In the “Teach Me How to Pray” weeks we looked at adoration, confession, lament, and thanksgiving. These are common types of prayer. Supplication is probably the category we spend the most time in though. Anything that we ask God for would fall into supplication. We often pray for friends and loved ones, we pray for healing, we pray for peace, we pray about broken relationships. But how often do we pray for our leaders.
In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Paul writes to Timothy who is young leader in the church, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.” Paul encourages Timothy that he ought to pray for those in leadership above him. Why? Because prayer is our best weapon.
If the leaders above him were not believers, it made great sense to lift them up in prayer so that support, rather than persecutions might ensue. Nobody had more say over how their general life would be lived than the king of their state or country. During Timothy’s time, religious persecution of Christians was rampant, and many kings wreaked havoc on the church at large. Paul’s answer for this was not public disagreement or discourse. His answer was not protest or all out war. Paul’s answer was to pray. Pray for your leaders, “so that you may lead a quiet life.”
Through prayer God has raised the dead, cast out demons, healed the sick, and changed hearts. Why not pray for leaders? If the leader is a believer already, and leading well down a good path, great! But how many Christian leaders have you seen on television who’s lives have ended up in scandals with affairs, addictions, or abuse of power? Leadership isn’t easy, and Paul’s response to that is to lift up leaders in prayer.
So much more so if the leader is actually not a believer should we lift them in prayer. I think of how much I enjoy watching Saturday Night Live skits and John Oliver bits on politicians. They are simply hilarious. And it’s not bad to laugh. But sometimes to cope with things headed in a bad direction politically or in international relations we turn to laughter over leaders more than we turn to God.
Pray for your leaders of the church, of your corporations, of your provinces and nations, that things may be peaceful! There is nothing so powerful as prayer. Paul writes, “I desire, then, that in every place that [all]* should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.” *Though Paul actually directs this statement toward men, it is a good reminder to us all to lift up hands in prayer.
- Who are the leaders in your life that you should be praying for?
- What does your prayer life look like? Do you spend a lot of time in thanksgiving, adoration, supplication, confession, lament?
- Is there some type of prayer that you particularly struggle with?
- How would you like to see your prayer life expand or grow?
- Spend some time praying for the leaders in your life.