If with very little notice President Trump were to attend the services of the congregation you attend and ask the church to pray for him, how would he be received? On another occasion, if Senator Biden were to do the same, how would he be received? As important as the nation and politics are in life, would both men come to understand that we believe in both a Sovereign King and a heavenly citizenship which transcends life? (Revelation 19:6; Philippians 3:20-21).
Would each man know that we valued their soul (Cf. Matt. 16:26) and that we were sincerely happy to accommodate their request for prayer? Would both men hear while being with us that there is a God in heaven (Daniel 2:28) to Whom all must give account? (2 Corinthians 5:10). Would they come to better appreciate that all God’s “works are right and all His ways are just?” (Daniel 4:37).
The book of 1 Timothy can be viewed as something of a “church manual” on godliness (cf. 2:2; 3:16; 4:7, 8; 6:3, 5, 6, 11). 1 Timothy 2:1-7 stresses the priority and privilege of prayer for God’s people. The word “all” occurs 5-6 times in most translations in the passage. Here’s the flow of thought:
Pray for “All” (2:1-2). Paul begins the section with “first of all” or “of special importance.” Prayer is to be made for “all.” Specifically, the passage instructs God’s people to pray for those who rule. The nature of the government or of a particular leader is not developed in this text. We fail to comply with the expressed will of God when we fail to truly pray for all.
God Our Savior Desires “All” (2:3-4). God wants “all” to have the opportunity to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. This ought to be the desire of the godly too.
Jesus Our Mediator Gave Himself for “All” (2:5-6). The Lord gave Himself as a sacrifice or ransom for “all” people potentially. We will never look on the face of another human being who does not matter to Jesus. And how well we convey that as Christians matters to Jesus!
Paul’s Ministry Illustrates Clearly the Gospel Is For “All” (2:7). Paul is a living, breathing, walking, talking example that God intended for the gospel to be embraced by “all” kinds of people. Paul’s ministry was about Jew and Gentile coming to God in humble, loving obedient faith (Romans 1:3-5; 16:25-27). No Christian today functions in the office of apostle as did Paul then, but all those who desire to be godly surely ought to recognize our ministry involves outreach to “all.”
1 Timothy 2:1-7 says a lot about what Christians in America can do for the nation. And it has an equally powerful application for the godly of every nation. Godliness must not be sacrificed on the altar of an election year!