1 Timothy 1:1-2 – On Becoming a Praying Nation

1 Timothy 2:1-2  – I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.

A few days ago I read a story about our President not having much pleasure being the president in his first six months of office. The writer commented that this president enjoys being loved by people and that the media headlines have been anything but loving recently. Who among us doesn’t want to be loved? And it’s certainly understandable that none of us likes bad publicity! Is it possible that the president wants to be loved by others and is also hurt by bad PR?

It doesn’t really matter about our votes back in November. It doesn’t matter if we like or dislike the President or his policies. Our political affiliation is not relevant either. The truth is, Mr. Trump is our president. If my desire is to have a godly leader, then it becomes a question of what I’m willing to do about it? Am I willing to pray for his spiritual welfare so that “we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity?” Please note, Paul is not telling Timothy what he should do, nor am I. Paul is “urging” Timothy to be in an attitude of prayer for peaceful living.

I won’t pretend for a minute that everyone loves our President, nor the opposite. However regardless of love or hate, we have become anything but “peaceful and quiet” or even dignified by our words to each other concerning any of our civic leaders. Our actions, words and attitudes are consuming the American people like the fires of the western states are consuming the land. How did we become so divisive?

The divisions among us did not start with this president, nor the last one. Our differences did not even begin with President Lincoln. Is it possible our divisions began with Eve’s children? Apparently, there were some difficult issues even in Paul’s time and he gives sound advice to young Timothy. Can you imagine them in a heated political discussion with apposing candidates or issues? I can visualize Paul leaning into Timothy, perhaps even consoling him with a hand on his shoulder and saying, “Tim, pray for that dude so that we can live peaceful and have quiet lives. These bad vibes aren’t godly. We can be more dignified. Don’t let it eat you up, man.”

The next time we hear a media report, or someone’s negative comment, take just a moment and pray for that political leader or situation. Surround them with a plea to God. I think there are feelings of hopelessness when it comes to state, national or international political leadership, but that does not need to be a reality for people of faith. All things are possible with God…have we given up or do we still believe that God is in control? Real power and authority is from heaven. May God’s peace be with you for Jesus reminds us real peace, He gives.

Peace sisters and brothers,

©2016 Trinity United Methodist Church