For the past two Mondays T. L. Wiens has been wrestling with how and why to pray for our governments. This is her third segment. Here are part 1 and Part 2.
Prayers for Governing Authorities (Part 3)
by T. L. Wiens
I must admit to being confused when I read this list:
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 KJ).
To me, supplications and prayers were the same thing but then they wouldn’t both be listed in the Timothy passage. They had to be different.
Going back to the Greek roots, I see they are very different words. “Prayers” is defined as prayer (worship); by implication an oratory (chapel).
To me, these are public prayers.
In my mom’s church, they pray for the government every Sunday. Sometimes it’s just a general prayer and others it’s a prayer focused heavily on a certain government policy. I think that’s the kind of prayer here. It is something that I’ve heard on occasion in other churches but seldom with the regularity that I’ve experienced in my mom’s church.
Read John 11:38-45 (NIV):
“Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.”
What a wonderful prayer and what an amazing result!