Those who know me are well aware of the fact that my life is characterized by my interest in government, both locally and nationally. In fact, if one were to scan my many posts on Facebook or my blog, or were able to examine the hundreds of conversations I’ve had throughout 2014, there would be no shortage of instances wherein my focus and criticism was directed at President Barack Obama. (To be honest though, I’ve had plenty of less than positive comments for many Republican leaders as well.)
At the same time, those who know me well also know that I refer to Scriptures regularly, not because I feel that I have mastered the concepts or ideals found within its Sacred pages (far from it), but rather because I believe they are Truth and God’s Word holds the key to every life challenge we face as broken creatures in need of a Savior. While there are many passages that I look to for instruction, direction and encouragement, there are also many passages that I sadly choose to relegate to the back burner.
Today, as I’ve been meditating about 2014 and looking forward to 2015, I’m convinced that God brought to my mind a passage of Scripture that I have been familiar with for years, and even quoted it from time to time. But my life has not exhibited this Truth. In fact, my life in this regard has likely caused God much displeasure.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” I Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV)
As I think about the hundreds if not thousands of times I have referred to President Obama they have consistently and overwhelmingly been about criticizing him, denouncing him, and even condemning him. Granted, my own political, philosophical, and spiritual views are likely as diametrically opposed to Obama’s as they could be. And in our nation we are called to speak out and champion our views in our representative form of government.
But God’s Word is abundantly clear when He commands me to pray for all people, including “kings and all those in authority…”
I have failed in this regard.
I have not prayed for President Obama in 2014 as God instructs. I will never know what differences we might have seen in 2014 if I had obeyed God in this regard. But this I do know. I can start now. And that I will do.
2015 will be my year to pray for President Barack Obama. I will make petition for him. I will intercede for him. And I will thank God for him. And as I do, I will change.
And as I change, perhaps others will consider the Truth of God’s Word and join in praying for President Obama and our many other authorities, from Senators to Congressmen, Governors to Mayors. They are all in authority and desperately need our prayers.
There’s one final benefit to praying for Barack Obama. Beyond the simple act of obedience to God when we pray for “those in authority” is another Truth that we see in verse 3 of the same chapter:
“This is good and pleases God our Savior.”
Will you also join me in praying for those in authority?