Written by: Tim Wood

As we celebrate the 243rd birthday our nation this week, may we all be challenged by this important instruction from the Bible: First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1Timothy 2:1-4 ESV)

Paul, the mentor, is encouraging Timothy the intern, to lead the church in a godly fashion. What did Paul believe was of first importance? Feeding the hungry? Counseling the confused? Reaching the lost? His first command was to pray for all people. The flagship assignment of the church is prayer.

While we pray for all people, Paul focuses our attention on a specific group of people. Pray for kings and all who are in high positions. In other words, pray for presidents, vice presidents, senators, congressmen and all elected officials. The reason we pray for these people is so we can live peaceful and quiet lives. Lives that are godly and dignified in every way. The New Century Version translates it this way, “so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God.”

Isn’t this remarkable? A peaceful society is dependent on the prayers of the church. If we don’t live in a peaceful society what is the solution? Better policies? Better programs? Better politicians? Perhaps, but not according to Paul. The answer is prayer.

Let’s give our nation the gift of prayer. It’s the best gift you can give to our country.

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2Chronicles 7:14).