Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Prayer Makes a Difference

I Timothy 2:1

1 Timothy 2:1-8New International Version (NIV)

Instructions on Worship

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. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 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.
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. accessed 23 July 2014 biblegateway.com.

   After observing the godless trends in our nation, we readily recognize the need for change. But God's solution for our predicament is surprising. Paul instructs Timothy to establish some priorities in the church, and first on the list is prayer "for kings and all who are in authority" (1 Tim. 2:2). The reason for our petitions is so that we can live tranquil and godly lives and thereby have unhindered opportunities to tell others about the Savior (vv.2-4).
   Paul wouldn't have given Timothy this instruction unless he believed the prayers of the church would make a difference in achieving God's purposes for their nation. Our problem is not with the Lord's promise or capability, but with our lack of faith. By focusing on the enormity of the problems or the power of those in office, we lose sight of our sovereign God who waits for us to request His intervention.
   Political policies and legislation are not ultimately determined in conference rooms and governmental chambers, but in prayer closets. The voices that shape the direction of a nation are not necessarily those that ring out in legislative halls, but those that approach the throne room of God with bold faith (Heb. 4:16). As the church believes and prayers, the Lord will respond.
   Knowing that God can change a country, you may be wondering why He has waited so long. Maybe He is asking you a similar question: "Why have you waited so long to pray?" Every authority on earth can be touched by the power of prayer if we are willing to ask and believe God.

Stanley, Charles F. Prayer Makes a Difference. Atlanta: In Touch Publication of In Touch Ministries. July 2014. page 55