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Our Expression of Holiness and Godliness

1 Timothy 2:1–2 (ESV) … “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.”

In our public worship, prayer should be our first order of concern and participation. Prayer is not to be a filler between hymns or a routine before the sermon. Paul wrote to the Philippians, “In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil. 4:6). He urged the Colossians and us, “Devote yourselves to prayer” (Col. 4:2). Prayer is a uniting with God. It is to be entered into with awe and joy, with respect and a sense of responsibility. We are engaged in the worldwide mission of glorifying God, especially as demonstrated through the spread of the gospel as people come to salvation through Jesus Christ.

It should be remembered that God has instituted government for our benefit. When government operates well, it is a significant ally to the gospel. Knowing that the mission of the church is to reveal and disperse the truth of Jesus Christ, Paul emphasized the need to pray for those in authority. This was written during the reign of Nero as emperor of Rome. Even under his degenerate and harsh rule, the Roman Empire provided a useful structure for extending the reach of God’s truth.

In our own time, we must also recognize that corporate prayer is not only a central expression of worship, but a requirement. Regardless of political loyalties or persuasions, churches should pray for national and local governmental leaders, uniting the hearts of many for these influential people.

Governmental leaders and bureaucratic policies have a direct bearing on our freedom to live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Peaceful literally means “tranquil.” This word refers to the absence of outside disturbances. Quiet refers to a composed, discreet order. Certainly, we desire our nation to be peaceful and quiet. Paul implied that God is willing to help us achieve this. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases” (Prov. 21:1).

The point of desiring a benign environment, however, is not for our own comfort. It is for the expression of godliness and holiness; it is for Christian witness. Paul still had in view the observing community and world, the spread of the gospel, the salvation of the lost. This became apparent as he continued.[1]

[1] Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, pp. 164–165). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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