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White Capitol Commission

Paul’s Public Prayer Exhortation

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”– I TIMOTHY 2:1-4

“I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
– I TIMOTHY 3:15

Important Words from a Godly Pastor

It is one of my greatest joys and privileges to be able to preach God’s Word expositionally on a weekly basis at the church where I serve as pastor. The study I do to accurately and effectively communicate Scripture is something that first of all ministers to my own heart. Just as 2 Timothy 3:16 says, it teaches me, reproves me, corrects me, and trains me. And then, out of that ministry the Word has in my life, I seek to help the people in the congregation, and the other church leaders, apply the truth to their lives. At times, the truth discovered impacts the church’s ministry. Such is the case with the recent study I completed of 1 Timothy 2:1-4. This passage makes it clear that, in their corporate gatherings, local churches are to pray for the men and women in places of leadership, service, and authority in the government.

We as a church had not been doing that. But once we understood what Scripture clearly teaches, we began praying for our government and its leaders in every Lord’s Day corporate worship service. As part of our service, one of our elders routinely reads a portion of Scripture. Then after the reading, that elder prays a pastoral prayer for the congregation, for various needs that exist, and for the service itself. Included in that prayer, this leader will mention some aspect of our government—he may pray for the president, the vice president, the congress, the senate, court judges, our state government, or our local civil authorities. We mention some of these individuals by name. But regardless, the prayer is that they would come to know Christ, that they would fear God, and that they would make decisions in accordance with scriptural principles. We also pray for Christians who serve in some aspect of government—that God would strengthen them, and that they would have opportunities to proclaim the gospel to others with whom they serve.

This kind of praying is something every local body is commanded to do. It’s sad, however, how many churches fail to be obedient in this area.

So my challenge to local church leadership is this: study 1 Timothy 2:1-4; interpret in its context; teach it to your local body; model for the congregation its application by praying for civil authorities in the Lord’s Day gathering; encourage everyone to continue praying this way regularly throughout the week.

Carey Hardy
Senior Pastor, Twin City Bible Church, Winston-Salem, NC
Adjunct Professor, Shepherds Theological Seminary, Cary, NC

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