Apostle Paul wrote Timothy a letter around the time of Cesar Nero ... a madman who was feeding Christians to lions etc. ... about this same time ...
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. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
(1Ti 2:1-4 KJV)
PRAYER FOR OUR RULERS
There is one class of men which the Apostle particularly singles out as subjects
for our prayers. These are "kings and all that are in authority" (Ver. 2). Why is
this? He gives us the answer himself. Read it carefully:
". . . that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and
"FOR THIS IS GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE IN THE SIGHT OF GOD OUR
SAVIOR, "WHO WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, AND TO COME UNTO THE
KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH" (Vers. 2-4).
In times of revolution and war the cause of Christ generally suffers, for men's
minds are preoccupied and they have little time or inclination to listen to the
gospel. Thus we should pray for those in authority, however wicked or godless
they may be. In Paul's day almost all of those in authority were pagans and
enemies of the gospel, thus the exhortation to pray for those in authority applies
at least equally to us.
It is true that Ver. 1 does not specifically state that we should pray for the
salvation of lost rulers, but this is certainly implied, for the basic purpose of our
prayers for them is that we might have peace and quiet, "for this is good and
acceptable to God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved."
The civil authorities wield great power for good or for evil. They are liable to
great temptations, but can also do much to promote general godliness. Thus if
even one of them is genuinely saved, or even becomes God-fearing, think how
much good will have been accomplished. But even if they remain wicked and
godless, God can cause them, providentially, to favor such legislation or to take
such executive action as will advance the cause of Christ. Let us never forget
that "the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth
it whithersoever He will" (Prov. 21:1).
Certainly the passage we are considering clearly implies that the true Church
of Christ is not an agitator. She may stand her ground on moral and spiritual
issues, and raise her voice against sin, but she does not scream for her rights.
She understands that while indeed "in the world," she is not "of the world." Such
passages as the one we have here considered should assure the rulers of this
world that true Christians are for them in the truest sense of the word.
Many of us have failed to pray for our rulers as we should. Some otherwise
faithful Christians complain and even rebel against those in authority, but utterly
fail to pray for them. Can this be pleasing to God? Indeed, if we fail in this are
not we largely to blame when ill-advised or unjust laws are adopted and
(Stam - Pastoral Epistles)