There are riots in the streets. Our cities are burning. Our nation is in turmoil. Pandemic is loose in our world. And everyone has an opinion! Now this really is not anything new; as long as there have been people, there have been opinions. But what IS new is that social media now gives everyone a platform to share their opinions. It doesn’t matter if the opinion is good or bad, ignorant or informed, helpful or inflammatory, anyone can express their opinion to everyone.
You may well be saying, “but Tim, your blog is an opinion!” Yes, it certainly is! I definitely have opinions. So here is my opinion. My opinion is, that my opinion is worth less than that proverbial bucket of spit! In our present crisis, we do not need opinions, we need prayer! The Apostle Paul wrote:
“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 Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4; NKJ)
Can you think of a passage that is more appropriate to the times we are living in than this one? I can’t.
First do you see the scope of prayer Paul is talking about? Not just prayer. But “supplication” – pleading with God for the things that are needed and desired. Also, “intercessions” – standing between God and others and praying on their behalf. And “giving of thanks” – thanking God that He does hear, answer, and intervene in this world. Clearly one does not engage in “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks” with a two-minute toss off prayer! True, we can make an urgent plea to God at any time. Yes, we can stop and simply say, “God, thank you for the beautiful sunset you have painted this evening.” But we must be about the discipline of prayer which, simply put, takes an investment of time.
Next, do you see the focus of our prayer? For ALL people! If someone is on your mind – pray for them! There is no restriction on who we can pray for! If there is someone on your heart or mind – pray for them! Maybe it is someone you know and love – pray for them. Maybe it is someone you do not know personally, or it is a person you are at odds with – pray for them! Paul tells us to pray for anyone; but especially pray for our leaders in government. I am going to throw this out there. It is a sin for a Christian to express opinions about government officials – either the ones you agree with, or the ones you don’t – without having prayed for them. If you and I are not praying for our leaders, we are not being obedient to the clear and expressed command of scripture. I know this isn’t popular, but disobedience to the Word of God is called “sin”.
Then do you see the goal of our prayers? It is that people everywhere would be able to live quiet, peaceable lives. Isn’t that what is needed at this time? Our prayer is especially that people of faith would be able to live godly lives, which visibly demonstrate and point to Christ. That is the ultimate purpose of our prayers, to see people everywhere turn in repentance, faith, and confession of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and so find salvation.
Everyone has an opinion. But not everyone has access to the throne room of the sovereign Creator-God of the universe. My opinion is not going to change anything about the terrible situation our world is in. But our God, moving in response to the prayers of people can move mountains, bring the rain, stop the plague, and change the hearts of kings.
Blessings in Christ!