The national interest - Hope 103.2

The national interest

By David ReayFriday 8 Apr 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 Timothy 2:1-2

1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 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. (NLT)

We may read words such as these and wonder just what good our prayers might do. National leaders still let us down. Countries still fight among themselves. Our prayers for the peace of the world seem to bounce off the ceiling. And yet, we are commanded to pray for those in authority and we go on doing so without, perhaps, expecting much change.

But let’s look at it in a different way, and ask ourselves how much worse things might be if God’s people did not pray. Heed these words of Eugene Peterson: “Prayer is political action. Prayer is social energy. Prayer is public good. Far more of our nation’s life is shaped by prayer than is formed by legislation. That we have not collapsed into anarchy is due more to prayer than the police. Prayer is a sustained and intricate act of patriotism in the largest sense of the word…far more precise and loving and preserving than any patriotism served up by slogans. That society continues to be liveable and that hope continues to be resurgent are attributable to prayer far more than business prosperity or a flourishing of the arts.”

Our prayers for those who lead us and others are not magic wands whereby they do what we want them to do. The kingdom of God is yet to fully come on earth, and besides, what we may want them to do might not be what God requires of them. We can be part of the problem as well as pointing to a solution.

Our prayers might not mean things are as good as they should be. They might mean things are not as bad as they could be.

David Reay