“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. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Prayer is central to a Christian’s relationship with God and others. Did I do a post on prayer? I don’t think I did. I’ll have to do that sometime. Wonder where I put that? Anyway, not only should we (and do we ever!) pray for things that we want, but we should also give thanks for the things we already have. A lot of you probably know this and have heard it a thousand times, but if you were to make a ratio of how many thinks you ask for and how many things you thank God for, what would it be? 3-1? 5-1? 10-1? 25-1? It should be even, or at least 2-1 or 3-2. And pray for others religiously (that’s kind of an odd word to use here, isn’t it? haha) because prayer for others pleases God. He loves everyone, so we should too.
Notice that Paul uses the word “urge.” This is not an order, but an option. Then, to make it super clear for everybody, he lines right up for us what we should pray for for them. Ask requests on their behalf, to avert evil and such. And what he means by “prayer” is don’t just wish for good things for them or that they would be safe ~ actually TALK TO GOD about them and for them (this is beneficial to you as well because it improves your relationship with and view of that person ~ which is probably why we’re told to pray for our enemies). Then, intercession ~ salvation for them. And finally, give thanks for their life, their safety, and for God’s answer to your prayer for them even if you don’t know what it is yet.
And this kind of prayer should be made for EVERYONE ~ young and old, friends and enemies, kings and peasants. Then Paul specifically picks kings out of the bunch, because how many of us really remember to pray for our leaders frequently? Those people might need our prayers more than anyone else ~ they’ve got ridiculously big decisions to make, after all, and a load of responsibility on their shoulders. Pray that God will turn our leaders’ hearts toward Him so we can have peace. Pray this also for leaders of other countries where our brothers and sisters in Christ are serving.
The ambition of a good Christian is to lead a quiet and peaceful life, but we can’t stay quiet and peaceful unless we stay godly and holy. Godliness is the proper worship of God, and holiness is good conduct towards men. I think that basically covers it. Though I think there could be a good deal of debate on what a “quiet and peaceful life” means, and comparing it to other Scriptures and such. But let’s try to stay inside these verses right now, okay?
And so we must not confine our prayers to our own people ~ fellow Christians. How can we expect unbelievers to come to a knowledge of Jesus if we don’t pray for them? It is our greatest tool, after all, and our greatest weapon against the devil. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and knowing Him is to be saved.