Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Key to a Quiet Life

“Supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made on behalf of all men: for kings and rulers in positions of responsibility, so that our common life may be lived in peace and quiet, with a proper sense of God and of our responsibility to Him for what we do with our lives” (1 Timothy 2:1 Phillips).

As I ponder the change that January 20th brought to our Nation—all the media coverage, all the negative coverage, all the coverage period—I am easily out of sorts, depressed, or fed up! But that is not what God calls me to be. He desires to gather up those emotions and use them for the furtherance of His Kingdom. He wants me to use all my internal energies toward more constructive responses (ie praying, praying, or...uh...praying!). According to the 2nd Chapter of 1 Timothy, there is an important and “proper” response—one that leads to peace and quiet (at least in my heart and home—the promised peace to the world will come at Christ's return!)—and it is a response the Lord holds me responsible to keep! That is sobering to consider...especially when I consider the time I spent (or better put, did not spend) in prayer for my county this last week! Pray? Yes, I did! Consistently? Uhhhh, no, I did not! There is one word that comes to mind: minimal! And when I take a moment to recall the time I thought about or talked about my country, that word minimal, in regards to prayer, becomes very shameful indeed! I have been commanded to pray, and in the sight of God our Savior this is undoubtedly the right thing to do:“for His purpose is that all men should be saved and come to realize the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3). Writing out a prayer helps me to Biblically, and therefore, boldly, come before the throne of God. I ask you to join me in praying for those God has seen fit to put into office.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Your word tells me that I must pray for all people in authority over me, that I may live in peace, in godliness, and in dignity (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Lord, I give thanks this day for every branch of government and every individual that you have appointed to rule and judge within this great Nation. You appoint Kings and you take down kingdoms! You, O Lord, are Sovereign!

I plead Your mercy upon our President, Barack Obama, his cabinet, and our Vice President, Joe Biden; I plead Your mercy upon our Congress—those residing in the House and the Senate; I pray specifically for our Congressmen, Representatives, and Senators; I plead your mercy upon our Mayors and Governors; and I plead Your mercy upon our Supreme Court Judges—those who hold great power—as they pass laws that either reflect or discredit Your judgment. I lift up Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice John Paul Stevens, Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Anthony Kennedy, Justice David Souter, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Steven Breyer and Justice Samuel Alito, and ask that they will look to their higher Authority, the Eternal Judge, in the last day.

Whenever I assemble with other believers to pray, Your word tells me that it must be without anger and controversy (1 Timothy 2:8). Forgiveness is a major key to not being “outsmarted” by the enemy (2 Corinthians 2:11). I am familiar with his evil schemes and desire to come before You, Lord Jesus, with no harbored bitterness against anyone. Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10). May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord (Psalm 19:14).

As my prayer is to be an expression of my love, may it be pure and Christ-like, full of compassion and tender mercy! Lord, You felt great pity when you saw people, because their needs were so great, and because they did not know where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36-37). Lord, You are that Great Shepherd and You are good. You promise to be a Guide to those who have gone astray. You promise to bring back those that are scattered. Lord, please rescue those that are lost—break their chains of bondage. Bind up the injured and strengthen the weak (Ezekiel 34).

Lord, I pray that these men and women would come to full salvation from sin and gain an understanding of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). I pray against the god of this evil world, who has blinded their eyes from seeing the glorious light (2 Corinthians 4:4). I pray that Your light would dispel their darkness and that they would be freed from the power of Satan and be set apart to God (Acts 26:18). May I stand firm against the strategies of the wicked one as I pray for those in authority over me—for I wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against rulers, and against authorities of the unseen world and wicked spirits in heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:11-12).

Lord, you desire that none should perish. I pray that our President and those who hold high office would believe that you exist (Hebrews 11:6)—that they would seek You with all their hearts, and that they would find You (Matthew 7:7).

I pray that those in authority over this country would display a godly and just rule (Proverbs 16:12). May they commit their works to You, for then their plans to succeed will come to fruition (Proverbs 16:3). I pray that those who govern this nation will seek wisdom from You alone, for You alone can grant it (Proverbs 2:6). I pray that they will please You in all their ways—for You promise to protect those who please You—even their enemies will be at peace with them (Proverbs 16:7).

Lord, I pray that these men and women would practice self-control, for without it they are like a defenseless city (Proverbs 25:28). Lord, their actions will greatly effect the protection of this county. I pray that they would have a tender conscience—that they would confess their sins and forsake them (Proverbs 28:13-14). And I pray that they would hate dishonesty and brides (Proverbs 28:16).

Dear Father, I pray that you will bless our Nation through these individuals. You have promised to listen intently to my prayer, and I am confident in Your word that says that whatever I ask according to Your will, will be given to me (1 John 15:14-15). It is Your will that none would perish. It is Your will that all would come to a greater understanding of the truth. I anticipate the remarkable secrets You will reveal (Jeremiah 33:3).

In Your most Precious Son’s Name, Jesus Christ, and through His Blood, Amen.

“Supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made on behalf of all men: for kings and rulers in positions of responsibility, so that our common life may be lived in peace and quiet, with a proper sense of God and of our responsibility to Him for what we do with our lives” (1 Timothy 2:1 Phillips).

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