I read earlier this week a church leader from America stating that he felt the decision he faced in voting for President was the same as being asked whether he wanted to be shot or poisoned? I know the statement is incredibly graphic, but it does in many ways highlight the problem that we can face as Christians. That is, who do we support when so much that we witness in the political sphere appears to be inherently opposed to those values that we hold dear? One answer to this question is very clear in the Scriptures. We pray!
In his Second Letter to Timothy, Paul instructs his protégé by saying “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.” (2 Tim 2:1-2).
I am often challenged by this passage for two reasons. Firstly, Paul encourages Timothy to pray for the very authorities that have been responsible for his floggings and imprisonments. Now of course there is a time to protest, to speak prophetically and even to engage in the political process. However, none of these actions such ever be separated from our ongoing prayer. Secondly, note Paul’s motivation for prayer. He doesn’t encourage to Timothy to pray in order that he may prosper financially. Rather, that he may live a life that may essentially honour and glorify The Lord Jesus Christ through the means of his life.
Now there’s a challenge!
Yours in Him, Gareth