Highlights:

Warning against false doctrine; thankfulness for mercy; bishops and deacons; instructions about widows and elderly; gain of godliness.

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 (I Tim. 2:1-2).

Nero, the Roman ruler, was cruelly persecuting Christians at the time Paul wrote the book of I Timothy. Yet, the Bible emphasizes the importance of Christians praying for those who have authority over them, even though many rulers are ruthless, ungodly men. It is the same in today's times. We definitely have some godly men and women in leadership roles all over the world. In the United States in particular, there are many political and business leaders who follow the Lord. However, there are many more that don't follow Christ. We must remember to pray for these leaders. We can pray that God would touch their hearts and draw them to Himself. Even if the leaders are treating believers poorly, that is the time to pray for them. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you (Luke 6:28). We can pray, that God will turn their hearts. We can also pray that God will remove them from power and place a believer in their office. We know from the Word of God that when people begin to pray and hearts change that a whole nation can experience revival. 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 (II Chr. 7:14). Sometimes it is in God's plan for the rulers of a nation to be unbelievers.

Strange as it may seem, the Scriptures record occasions when God even used wicked rulers to accomplish His purpose. God may do this for many reasons. Sometimes, it is to pronounce judgment on a nation. Other times, it may take an evil leader to wake a nation up to its complacency. Even other times, God may be trying to steer the nation in another direction and it took this leader to do that. We often waste a lot of effort trying to figure out what God is doing when it is not in His plan for us to know. At times, He may reveal what He is doing, but not always. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord (Is. 55:8).

We can have the confidence from God's Word that our prayers work. They work in our world and in the unseen world. Hearts can be changed, bodies healed and demons put to flight.

And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matt. 16:19).

Thought for the Day: Pray for all that are in authority both political and spiritual.

Cross Reference:

For I Tim. 5:18: See Deut. 25:4.

Word Studies:

1:5 unfeigned, genuine; without hypocrisy; 1:10 menstealers, kidnappers, people who enslave (control) others for their own evil purposes; 2:9 shamefacedness, modest behavior, reverence; 2:12 usurp authority, be domineering; 3:2 husband of one wife, married only once until parted by death; vigilant, disciplined, self-controlled: 3:8 greedy of filthy lucre, craving wealth; 3:13 purchase to themselves a good degree, gain a good reputation; 5:11 wax wanton against Christ, allow their passions to draw them away from Christ; 6:4 questions and strifes of words, controversial, contentious speculations, attacking the authority and reliability of Scripture.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Rep. Pete Olson (TX) • Country: Iran (66.2 million) in southwestern Asia • Major languages: Farsi and Turki • Hostile to all Christian activity • 87% Shi'a; 12% Sunni; .5% Baha'i; .4% Christian; .03% Jewish; .04% Parsi (Zoroastrian); .03% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Fast, sanctify yourself, and unite in prayer with others as you cry unto the Lord (Joel 1:14).

Memory Verse for the Week: Luke 1:37