Praying for All People

prayer_an-invitation-to-prayer“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. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”                                                                                                                           1 Timothy 2: 1-6

Have you ever heard of selective praying? Oh, come on now, I know that you have had prayer requests come to you that you think, “Oh, why should I pray for them? They don’t even like me.” Or, “They are surrounded by prayer already, I’ll just go on to the next person.” Or my favorite excuse is, “Why should I pray for them, they won’t listen to God when he speaks, anyway.” I am not alone in this so don’t try to hide behind righteous reasoning.

The Bible is very plain that we are to pray for all people. Timothy is just one section of many mandating this. My first thought is our president. President Trump has raised many eyebrows in the population of the world and many Christians are not praying for him just because he is not a Democrat, hasn’t built the wall yet, doesn’t talk the way we talk, parts his hair on the wrong side, and on and on. I saw the Christian community come together in praying for the right person to be put in office, and now we are letting down on our dedication to lifting him up to God. President Trump, Vice President Pence, all of the Congress and Senate, Representatives and leaders of our states and communities need our prayers. We are to present supplications: asking God to see to their every need. We are to pray: thanking God for his divine apointment and for his grace. We are to intercede: taking hold of God’s will for these people and not letting go until his will is done. And we are to be thankful: thanking God always for the salvation of the people in our leadership, for their following and praying for God’s direction.

There are people in my life who I choose not to spend a great deal of time with. And it is often hard to pray for them. But I have seen miracles happen when I get over myself and lift them up to God. Frozen hearts are unthawed. Sinful lives turned over to God. Financial needs met in ways that could only be by God’s hand. I was not always directly involved, in fact, almost never, but I know that part of the resolution came to be through my, and others, prayers. God never places anyone on your heart unless He is calling you to pray for them.

God wants us to have a peaceful life, but unless we are praying for all people, who have the power to fulfill that peace, we risk losing the grace that brought them to us in the first place. Self has no place in a peaceful world. We must sacrifice self in order to pray for others. Especially those we don’t feel like praying for. In the end, they probably need it more than anyone else; and that is why God called you to pray for them at such a time as this. Peace comes from praying for others.