Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
We live in a culture of outrage. This came home to me when a friend on social media, one I actually know in real life, made a non-self-conscious comment about something not being his “outrage of the day.” The apostle Paul has a good bit to say about this attitude in our Epistle this week, from 1 Timothy 2:1-15. How is the Christian to deal with these admittedly tough siguations, when it may appear that society, culture, and politics all head in a negative direction?
Rather than screaming, shouting, and breaking things, Paul urges prayer and thanksgiving. Yes, even for those who might thank us not to pray. Even for those political leaders who scorn God, His Word, and His kingdom. Especially for them. The practice is nothing new. In my church tradition, virtually every Sunday the prayers of the church include our governmental officials, including those who make, administer, and enforce laws. This is a challenge. I will candidly admit to having very sharp disagreements with my elected officials dating back for more than a quarter of a century, and even before that. How do we deal with it? We pray that our officials will have the wisdom from the sovereign, wise, and good God to do what is best. We pray that where they fail they will be confronted by the God who rules consciences, and that they will find repentance, forgiveness, and change. We pray for their good health and that of their families, because they are engaged in very difficult and stressful work. We pray that when they have done what is good they will rest well with a clear conscience.
Paul gives us a particular outcome we can hope for when praying for our leaders. We pray “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (v. 2, ESV). Is this our prayer or what we hope to receive as a side effect? I think it is a side effect. When our leaders do well, we all do well.
Ready to pray?
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