I am sure that I have read this particular passage dozens of times over the years. Today God’s Word jumped off the pages and especially resonated after my “bad Christian” confession written before the results of the election were counted. Here is a snippet of that article written on election day.
No matter who wins I am making a commitment today. I am going to pray for the leaders that are chosen. I may not agree with the choice. But I learned a valuable lesson earlier in my journey with Jesus. When President Bill Clinton was elected in 1992 I was extremely unhappy.
I did not pray for Bill Clinton during most of his Presidency. I did not respect him as the authority my sovereign God allowed to be in power. I said ugly things about him. In short, I sinned in my spirit and with my speech. During that time I put my trust in politics and not in God. I will not make that mistake again. I have matured in my faith since then. I am more aware of who I am in Christ and that my trust is in God and not in government. That does not mean I will be apathetic.
I will be engaged as a proud citizen of the United States. Trust me. But I must never forget as I too often did during the Clinton years that I have a dual citizenship. I will do all that I can to serve both my earthly and my eventual heavenly home. That is why the Scripture I “happened” upon today was so timely. So I give my space to a guy named Paul writing to a young man named Timothy. See if this feels timely on the day after a contentious election two-thousand years later.
The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.
He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.
Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God.(1 Timothy 2, The Message)
I started today during my daily walk with dog friend Hannah. Praying every way I know how for our rulers and our government. I will be prepared to make my voice heard as a citizen of the United States when I disagree with those leaders. I will boldly speak truth wrapped in grace. But at the end of the day I hope I never forget the following charge.
This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth…what I want mostly is for (me) to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God.
I failed once to get this right. I am seeking the power of the Holy Spirit to get it right this time around.