Monday, May 02, 2016

“I Urge”


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As far as our relationship to the government is concerned, the apostle Paul gave this appeal to make praying for them our priority.
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... (1 Timothy 2:1-3, ESV)
Note that he said, “I urge”. It’s an exhortation or an encouragement. It’s not in the command or imperative form. But that doesn’t mean however that obedience to pray for the government is something optional. According to a Bible reference, the Greek word for “urge” is “an authoritative apostolic plea—more than a request, but less than a command.” We disobey God when we fail to pray for them.

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That also means we should pray for the our leaders (“all who are in high positions,” v. 2a) whether we voted for them or not and whether we agree with what they are doing or not. We are to pray for them willingly and not grudgingly.

The noun form of the Greek word for “urge” is used as one of the names of the Holy Spirit. So, praying for our country is one of the indicators that the Spirit is working in and through us and our church.

The purpose why we are to pray is so “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (v. 2b)
Paul was greatly aware of the deteriorating political atmosphere. Thus he urged prayer for the salvation of all men, but especially rulers, so that the stable, noninterfering environment of previous days might be recovered. ... Times of political and social upheaval are excellent times in which to die for Christ, but hard times in which to live for Him.1
Given our “deteriorating political atmosphere” nowadays, the more that we should pray for our government. One of the things we are to pray for our government leaders is their salvation. Paul said that doing so, “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.” (vv. 3b-4)

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Prayer Points for the Philippines
Pray that this election would lead to even greater opportunities to preach the Gospel, and that the freedom of the church will be respected, honored, and protected. Pray for the church, praying that the church of the Lord Jesus Christ would be strengthened in the truth, grounded in the faith, and empowered for witness and ministry.

[1] A. Duane Litfin, “1 Timothy” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, Eds. John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983, 1985), 734. Emphasis added.

[2] Adapted from Albert Mohler’s “Ten Things to Pray for America on Election Day,” Christianity.Com, retrieved from http://www.christianity.com/.