Read 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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. 3 This is good and pleases God our Saviour, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. (NLT)
We can never know for sure what impact our prayers might be having. We know from the Bible (the book of Revelation) that God somehow is restraining the forces of evil to a degree so that some sort of reasonable human life can be carried on. In some parts of the world, we might understandably wonder if those restraints have already broken down.
But as a general rule, the world as a whole is not in utter chaos. There is a degree of justice and order that enables life to go on, even if we would wish for more of those qualities. We might reasonably argue that our prayers play some sort of part in this. We are urged to pray for those in authority that human life can continue in some meaningful way. It is obvious that not all such prayers are being answered: evil flourishes and people suffer.
And yet we can perhaps recognise that our prayers are at the very least preventing things getting worse. The evil one seeks utter destruction: that is not happening, and prayer has something to do with it.
Sadly, some Christians still seem to think that changing political parties, or overthrowing a government will achieve God’s purposes. It may be that we prefer one political agenda to another and that a certain agenda might improve things. But never fall into the trap of thinking that peace and justice are all about how we vote in an election. It has far more to do with how we pray for those who are elected.
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