Praying for Those in Authority

November 25, 2021

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 NLT

If you polled people who pray regularly for our nation, asking what they request when they pray, a majority would say they pray for peace. It’s a reasonable and good request. But Paul tells Timothy that peace among people is not just a gift that drops on people. God always works through people.

A wonderful and godly goal for our lives is that we live “peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” That’s an outcome that would fill individual lives with joy and self-respect and bring peace to our families, communities, and world.

How do we get there?

Pray for all people. Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, and Nones—pray for them. All races, cultures, ages, religions, nationalities—pray for them.

Pray specifically. Ask God to help them. Speak to God on their behalf, interceding for their needs.

Give thanks for them. Thanking God for the people around you helps you care deeply about them. Sometimes we have to look for reasons to be grateful. When we take gratitude seriously and find reasons to be thankful, it expands compassion, value, and affection for the ones for whom we pray.

Paul says we are to pray that way for all people, and then he ups the ante. He says to pray exactly this way for kings and all who are in authority. What happens when we pray? Well, of course God does things when we pray that He doesn’t do otherwise. He is working on and in the hearts of people. He is working in our hearts too. We always feel more connected to and compassionate toward people for whom we pray. And when we as a community of believers are praying together, a wave of the Spirit can make differences we can’t begin to imagine. The path to peace is people praying for people.

  • How can you remember to pray this way for “kings and those in authority”? Who are the people who are different from you for whom you should specifically pray?