1 Timothy 2 begins:
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. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Hang-on now! prayers and thanksgiving for kings and all who are in high positions?? So, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Dictators, Governors, Chiefs of State, Cabinet Members, Congress…we’re supposed to pray for them and thank God for them?
Yes. Well, that’s what the Bible says.
Not just because it’s good for us, but especially because it pleases God.
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 a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
In Jeremiah 29:1-28, Israel had been exiled to the Babylonians because of their sin. But, through the Prophet Jeremiah, God assured them that He would not annihilate them. Rather, they needed to pray for the welfare of their captors, work the land and be successful, be fruitful and multiply their families, and watch out for false teachers in the meantime, who would not be spared judgment.
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat of their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jeremiah 29:4-7)
God would indeed deliver His people as He promised He would do.
The Apostle Paul, writing to his servant Timothy, says that same thing still applies:
We are exiles in this world. Pray for those who are of this world, especially rulers, realizing that everyone needs to hear the saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We, too, must watch out for false teachers who will not escape the wrath of God – nor will those who follow them.
Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life. Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy. (1 Timothy 6:3-5)
And, just like He did in Israel, God will save all whom He means to save and lead them to a knowledge of the truth. Not one of His people will be lost!
… when we understand the text.