Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Praying for Everyone!

1 Timothy 2:1

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—

Life ChangeDo we pray for all people? Often in worship – over the years – I’ve asked people to pray for the President. What if the President at the time isn’t the one you voted for – does that hamper your ability to pray for them? It shouldn’t. We should pray for our leaders – whether we agree with them or not. We don’t have to like someone to pray for them – praying that their hearts would be touched by God and that they would lead the people according to what is best for the people – rather than for themselves or their political party. We ask for this prayer often in our worship services and in our Live Prayer Time on Wednesday nights on Facebook.

Do we pray for all people? The political scene is dreary these days. At times we are called to pray against evil (as we might define it) and to pray for those who are responsible for that evil (as we see it). For instance – we might be conflicted with what is happening on our southern border (and has been happening for several administrations). We might think our borders should be secure and yet we might feel there are better ways to go about it (several administrations have tried several methods which apparently aren’t working yet). We can pray for those seeking asylum and their well-being while also praying for border security. We can pray for a better way for sure.

Do we pray for all people? Our denomination is experiencing unrest – as many denominations are these days. For example – there are those who wish to approve what some believe to be sin. Many of us are wrestling with our differences. We have pastors – churches  annual conferences – bishops – countries – on different sides of the current presenting issue (and other issues as well). We have churches around us – in the same district – that have differing views on this issue – on our understanding and use of the Bible – and in other understandings as well. Yet – we are called to pray for one another. Pray for the bishop that makes a decision contrary to your understanding of truth. Pray for the neighboring pastor and/or church that doesn’t see things the way you might. We really need to pray for a way forward if we are to remain a United Methodist Church. We can pray for something to be worked out or even for a peaceful split so we might spend more time reaching people for Christ rather than battling each other.

Do we pray for all people? How are your family dynamics working these days? Is everyone of one accord or is there dissension in the ranks? It hurts my heart when I see families in disaccord – with lasting issues that threaten to divide the family. We may not get along with all family members – siblings – parents – extended family – but we should always pray for them.

Do we pray for all people? Each year when we pass holidays that honor our military – I wonder how many Christians in America pray for soldiers and peoples of other nations? Some will not even pray for our own military or peoples. I wonder how many Christians in America prayed for Hitler and his forces? It was a horrific time for sure. But – praying for our enemies is something we are called to do. I pray for those who oppose our way of life – often. I pray for their hearts (and ours) to be touched by God.

Do we pray for all people? So – who would you have a hard time lifting in prayer? Think about it – Jesus prayed for us and died for us – while we were yet His enemies (before we became believers).

Do we pray for all people? Remember – Paul was writing to a people under heavy persecution from the Roman government. Here’s today’s passage in partial context. 1 Timothy 2:1–8 – 1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles. Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

With the impeachment hearing going on – are you praying for all involved – no matter what side of the process you lean toward? Do you pray for our President? Our Congress? Our military? Our law enforcement and first responders? For those who protest what you believe with all you heart?

Remember – when Jesus was being crucified – Jesus prayed to the Father and said – Luke 23:34 – Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.  And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Let’s practice praying for everyone. I ask that you pray for me – whether you like me or not – believe as I do or not – support my ministry or not. And – I will pray for you!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

November 22, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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