Pray for Everyone 為萬人禱告
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. 1 Tim. 2:1-2 (ESV)
Paul used the phrase “first of all” to point out the priority of what he is saying in verse 1. He urged believers to pray for all people. All these four Greek words “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings” are synonyms of prayer. Paul is saying, “you need to pray, pray and pray.” The prayer not only includes the well-being of all people but also includes their salvation or anything you can think of.
Some might ask, “Does ‘all people’ include everyone you can think of?” “Do I need to pray for my enemy?” Yes, your enemy is included in the “all people” category.
In addition, Paul specifically points out in verse 2 to pray “for kings and all who are in high positions.” The reason is that we “may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” to fulfill the Great Commission. In the United States, we have leaders in both the national and local arenas, and we ought to pray for them. Pray also for their salvation and the ways they regulate our city.
During the pandemic and election year, brothers and sisters could be divided by their political views and how COVID should be handled. They might love some leaders and hate others. Praying for the leaders we love is easy, but not those we dislike. At times, we feel unease to pray for those we don’t like especially those political leaders that are against our belief.
The truth is God wants you to pray for your leaders. In Matthew 5:44, Jesus said, “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
I know all brothers and sisters have at least one leader in authority they dislike. I want to challenge you this coming week: not only pray for all people and those who are in authority, but also pray for those leaders you dislike (and might even persecute Christians). Pray for their salvation. May God have mercy on them and on us so that we can carry out His mission without any hindrance.
May God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
～ Rev. Clement Woo 胡嘉明牧師～