1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-7
History and Context:
1 Timothy belongs to what scholars have labeled as the Pastoral Epistles (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus). They are named the Pastoral Epistles because they deal directly with issues of leadership in the church. Timothy was probably a convert from Paul's first missionary journey, when he travelled to Lystra. After that Timothy begun travelling with Paul and taking various assignments. In other letters we can see that it was often Timothy that would carry Paul's letters to the various churches. At the time in which Paul wrote 1 and 2 Timothy, Timothy was in Ephesus and had been sent there in order to lead the church and to train and build leaders for the church. 1 Timothy is written as general instructions towards Timothy as a leader.
There are two points I want to bring out from this passage:
First of all, Paul gives us a key to living a quiet and peacable life in Godliness and reverance. How do we do this? We do this by praying for all men and especially for our authority. Most of the time, when talking with those around us, all we hear is complaints about our leaders. We point out the mistakes they make, criticize their personal lives, and at times people even make a case for that leader to be the anti-Christ. This is the exact opposite of what Paul tells us to do here. Paul tells us to pray for them. What should we pray? That brings me to my second point:
In verse 3 Paul makes a bold statement about what God desires. If we are to pray effectively then we should learn what God wants and pray His will. Here is one of the clearest statements in the entire Bible declaring what God desires; "who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth." God desires that all men should be saved.
Instead of complaining about our leaders we should be praying for their salvation, and more specifically that they would be brought to the truth. If you are an American than you have a responsibility to pray for Obama. If you are an Oregonian you have a responsibility to pray for John Kitzhaber. The same is true for everyone else and your respective leaders. Pray for their salvation, pray that they would find the Truth of God's Word.
Lord, I pray for my leaders. Send laborers across their paths to speak the Word in love to them. I pray that you would bring them to the knowledge of the Truth and that they would be saved. Thank you Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen!