“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
We are now in the first full week of a new federal administration in our nation. We prayed on Sunday, January 17 for a peaceful transition – before, during, and after the inauguration of President Biden. I’m guessing that was a prayer lifted up by many, many people, and we can thank God, like we did this past Sunday, for answering it!
The election and the inauguration have been quite a stressful time for Americans. As things finally have come to a resolution, some of us are pleased with the outcome, while others of us are disappointed. As Christians, who are citizens of our nation and citizens of the kingdom of God, what should our position be? I read a devotional last week, prior to the inauguration, that I found very helpful. In fact, it would be helpful, like the prayer we lifted, no matter who won the election. It’s based on the scripture from 1 Timothy 2:1-2. With permission from the author, I share it with you in full:
“Some time ago, I was in one of those church leadership meetings where it was obvious we were getting nowhere. People on both sides of the discussion were entrenched in their positions and we were clearly stuck. As lead pastor, I requested we simply stop and pray about the matter. One of the elders, who was and still is a good friend, asked “is it really that bad?” Everyone got a good laugh and many, but especially me, delighted in reminding him about his comment from time to time!
At the beginning of this inaugural week, I am requesting we in the believing community to simply stop and pray. Do I think it is ‘really that bad?’ This has the potential to be a very difficult time for our country and especially so for those on the more conservative side of the spectrum. But aside from that, stopping to pray for those in positions of political leadership is also quite biblical!
Paul included two critical ideas in his call to prayer. The first is in the word ‘urge,’ which implies a call to come alongside, an invitation to Timothy and the church to join in this prayer venture. ‘Urge’ carries a sense of urgency as if driven by a pressing need. The second is in ‘first of all,’ meaning a matter of utmost importance. Paul calls Timothy, and us through him, to join in this ministry of prayer and if need be, set aside other pressing matters to do so.
Notice who is to be lifted in prayer, ‘kings and all those in authority.’ I know we are not governed by a monarch but the principle is still applicable. We should be praying for the new administration as they take office this week. You may or may not have voted for the Biden/Harris ticket. I get that. But as Nero was the Roman Emperor when Paul issued this call to prayer, I think it safe to say Paul wouldn’t have endorsed him! But that didn’t stop Paul from praying for Nero, and it shouldn’t stop us from praying for our leaders.
The goal of these ‘requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving’ for our political leaders is ‘that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.’ In commenting of this verse, Dr. Ronald Ward writes ‘the result of this prayer, which is indeed its purpose, is not for the comfort of the church but rather for the opportunity to expand its worship, grow in its holiness and extend the work of evangelism.’ Sounds like pretty good reasons to pray!
So here is my challenge. Each time you consider saying or posting something about the new administration, stop and pray for them first. In the words of Dr. Ruth Tucker: ‘if we concentrate more on our legacy [in prayer], we and [those we pray for] would become the kind of people God has called us to be.’ Let’s respond to Paul’s call and pray for God to work before it gets to be ‘that bad!’”
– written by Rick Grace, Disciple Heritage Fellowship
So, I think this helps answer the question, “what should our position be?”. Recognizing that our church is composed of people of various political persuasions, along with some who don’t care a whole lot for politics at all, I want to remind us that we are not “Community Christian Democrats of Marana,” or “Community Christian Republicans of Marana.” No, we are “Community Christian Church of Marana,” a caring group of Christians, challenging each other to grow, called to service in Jesus’ name, with a message of God’s grace for all people everywhere. We pray for our leaders, our nation, our world, and one another. “Whoever you are, wherever you are in your journey of faith, you are welcome at Community Christian Church.”
God bless you, Pastor Dave