Friday, October 17, 2014
1 Timothy 2: Prayers for Societal Transformation
1 Tim 2:1-7 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.
Paul exhorts churches to pray for the salvation of "all people", including people in authority ("kings and all who are in high positions"). Such intercession "is good, and... pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim 2:3-4). Only then can believers live "peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way." As a church, we are called to engage society through the Gospel and not to escape from it. The heart of the Gospel truth is that "there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all" (vv.5-6). We can get this message out to everyone through our prayers.
Therefore, our priority during corporate prayers in our Sunday Services and our prayer meetings must be: "Your kingdom come! You will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Everything a church does has to be missional. It's only when we are missional that we are aligned with God's agenda and therefore anointed by the Holy Spirit. A church is only as full of the Spirit as it is full of Gospel-motivated "supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings." Perfunctory prayers without passion for salvation of all people have no place in the church of Jesus Christ.
It's only when people at every level of a society is saved that Christ's rule is extended over that nation. So when we pray, "Your kingdom come!" we are in fact praying for the salvation of all people at all levels of our society to be saved and be in submission to Jesus Christ the King over the nation. Only then will there be spiritual and moral integrity in the land.
Recent events in Singapore have increasingly demonstrated a certain decline in our society's moral integrity, especially of people holding high positions. We need to pray that God will transform our political leadership that will put moral integrity above political expediency. Let's pray for our government, that it be continually filled by people who acknowledge God and affirm His moral law in our society.
Father, may You save those holding high positions in our land, so that Singapore may remain free and our nation founded on the solid rock of spiritual and moral integrity. Amen.