1 Timothy 2:1-7 ESV
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”
I want to back up a little so that we get this in context. In chapter one we learn that Timothy was to charge certain persons not to teach a different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths (fairytales, falsehoods, untruths). And the aim of the charge was love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. So, when we pray for other people, especially people in positions of authority, we must keep this in mind. Why? So we know how to pray according to the will of God.
We can’t just pray anything for people, not if we are praying to God in heaven, and not if we are expecting him to listen to our prayers and to answer them. For some or many of these people are professing faith in Jesus Christ, but not from a good conscience nor a sincere faith. And many of them are devoting themselves to fairytales (what is made up in the minds of humans) and they are either teaching and/or they are devoting themselves to a different gospel other than the gospel taught in the Scriptures.
So, people who are in high up positions either in the church or in the government are not necessarily worshiping the same God that we are, and they are not necessarily following the will of God in heaven, and, in fact, they may be doing the opposite. They may be either outright or secretly opposing God and Jesus Christ and the gospel of our salvation, and they may be enemies of the cross of Christ who are out to destroy us and to put to death all those of us who are of sincere faith in Jesus Christ.
So, we need the wisdom of God in how to pray for people so that we are not praying against the will of God. Now, we are to pray for them so that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. And there are varied opinions on what that means exactly, but I think if we are praying for other people, especially for those in authority over us, we are not going to do evil against them, and we are not going to try to get even with them for the evil that they do against us, but we will be praying for their salvation and we will be choosing to love them with the love of God.
Now, this does not mean that we maintain silence about evil, for we are to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, and we are to call people out of the darkness into the light, and we are to warn against false doctrines and the deceptions of men so that the body of Christ is not tossed here and there by various winds of doctrine of men in their deceitful scheming, but so that we all reach a unity of the faith and maturity in Christ, our Lord, as each of us does our part within the body of Christ to urge one another on to holiness.
So, leading peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way does not mean we compromise with the people of the world in order to make peace with them or that we don’t share the gospel with them so that we don’t offend them. For God has sent us out into the world with the gospel to make disciples of Jesus Christ of the people of the world, turning them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ, and we’re to be teaching them to obey our Lord’s commands.
For, the primary thing we should be praying for all people is for their salvation from sin, which is deliverance from slavery to sin, and it is empowerment of God’s Spirit to walk in holiness and righteousness, in moral purity, in honesty, and in integrity. It is empowerment of God’s Spirit, by his grace, for us to walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and to no longer live as slaves of sin but now as slaves of God and of his righteousness, and to walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands.
And what we should be praying for one another is that we will live holy lives, pleasing to God, and that we will resist Satan, and flee temptation, and draw near to God in full assurance of faith. And we should be praying that we will be able to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us with the armor of God, and that we will remain faithful and steadfast in faith, and that we will not give way to fear nor to intimidation to back down from our faith and to compromise with the world or with the worldly church.
And we should pray for one another to have courage to stand strong against all opposition, and all persecutions and mistreatments and false accusations which may come against us from our peers and/or from people in high up positions in the government or in the church. We should be praying for persecuted Christians throughout the world and not just in specific locations. For many who stand strong on the true faith are being opposed and they need to be encouraged in their walks of obedience to the Lord Jesus.
[Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-21; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13; 1 Pet 2:9; Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 26:18; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
He Lifted Our Burdens
An Original Work / February 15, 2014
Based off Isaiah 9:2-7
People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.
Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.
Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.
We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.
Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.
He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.