“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peacable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who desires to have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 2:1-4)
This was my morning reading from the devotional book “Drawing Near” by John MacArthur; a book I have been doing devotions from for the past several months. Part of the reading quoted 2 Timothy 2:1-4 which seems quite appropriate for this season especially for Christians living in the Middle East. Here are some thoughts from my King James Study Bible:
verse 2.1. First of all (or, “most important of all”): Prayer is to hold the preeminent place in church meetings. Four different types of prayer are mentioned here: (1) supplications are precise requests for specific needs; (2) prayers is a general word embracing various kinds of prayer – confession, adoration, and so on; (3) intercessions denote prayers to God on behalf of others; (4) giving of thanks refers to prayers of praise.
There are three reasons why the prayers of verse 1 are to be offered “for all men”: (1) that Christians may enjoy a tranquil life (v. 2); (2) such praying is good and acceptable to God (v. 3); (3) such prayers help bring about the salvation of men (v. 4).
verse 2:2. A quiet and peacable life. The word quiet means “not troubled from without”; that is, intercessory prayer enables good government to ensure that its citizens are not troubled by enemies or forces outside its borders. “Peacable” means “not troubled from within“; that is, the church’s prayer also aids competent government in maintaining law and order within its own borders. The translation “godliness and honesty” is unfortunate, for the exercise of these virtues is not dependent upon good government; they can be cultivated even in poor political management and persecution. The text should read, “That we may lead a quiet and peacable life with the utmost reverence and respect.” This respect is for governmental authority. Respect can best be realized when rulers are competent and rightly discharging their duties. Otherwise, it is difficult to respect rulers when they are incompetent and unjust.
For all prayer warriors out there, please continue to pray for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and for the wisdom and leadership to know how to best lead/guide the Sultanate of Oman during such turbulent times! “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will (or desires).” (Proverbs 21:1)