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.” See I Timothy 2: 1-5 for the entire passage
This is not a prayer for Ephesus or for the government It is not a patriotic prayer. It is a prayer for the church. If we want to pray Biblical prayers, we will pray for Obama and Pelosi, Grassley and Harkin, for our mayors and our city council members that the church live in peace. We can certainly pray for their salvation. But pray for the country? Is there precedent for that in Scripture? One Scripture is often cited:
“II Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
But this is a call for the church to pray, not for the nation to pray. And it is a specific promise to the Israel of God. I don’t think you will find the prophets praying for Egypt or Assyria or Babylon. We are exhorted over and over to pray for the church, the people of God.
It is certainly okay to pray to God for your neighbors that God may have mercy on them, but we should focus on what God tells us to pray for: those who preach the gospel, and for it’s success; the peaceful practice of witnessing. (Col. 4:2, I Thes. 5:25, II Thes 3:1)
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.
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