The Second Greatest Commandment
Loving the Unlovely – Part IV
Scripture Reading: Luke 15:1-7 (NLT)
Key Verses: Luke 15:1-2 (NLT) Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that He was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!
In yesterday’s devotional we began to study 1 Timothy 2:1-4. Look at the second verse of that passage:
Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
From the truth of this verse, what would be the result if we do not pray for the authorities that rule over us? It is clear that we should not expect to live peaceful and quiet lives. If we are not praying for those who are in positions of authority, why should we expect our lives to turn out good?
I do not find it easy to pray for the authorities of our world. That kind of prayer can seem so huge and vague that my faith easily start to waiver.
We must remind ourselves of several truths.
First, God tells us to pray for the authorities. God would never tell us in His Word to pray for them if our prayers have no effect on them.
A good way to start this kind of prayer would be: “Father, You have told me to pray for the authorities over us, so as I pray for them knowing you hear me and will do Your work on them.” Saying this helps our own faith more than anything else, and that is important.
Second, Matthew 18:19 shows us something helpful:
“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, My Father in heaven will do it for you.”
When we obey the command to pray for the authorities of our world, know that other Christ-followers are also being obedient to that command. Even if there is only one other that is joining you in that prayer, our Father in Heaven hears and moves in the lives of these authorities.
What a great promise. And if God makes a promise to us, He will keep that promise!
I cannot imagine anyone not wanting to live a peaceful and quiet life. Don’t you want that for you and your family? If so, decide now to daily pray for the people that run the nations of our world.
Think how things would change if God’s people all agree to pray with the same amount of energy and passion as many of them have when it comes to political discussions or political action.
We may not get all believers to agree to this type of praying but each of us can start interceding for our President as well as the kings and presidents of all the nations. We can ask God to lead their footsteps, no matter what their plans may be (Proverbs 16:9).
Father, please remind me to pray for the leaders of all the nations of this world. Thank You for hearing and answering these prayers of Your children. In Jesus’s Name, amen.