S25P4 – Prayer for a purpose: reflection
1 Tim. 2:1-4
First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in high authority, so that we may live a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who wishes all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge and recognition of the truth.
Scripture tells us that Jesus did only that which the Father commanded him to do. This includes the miracles He performed, the selections He made of who would be his disciples and the things which He refused to do. While we can see some obvious actions Jesus was called to take or avoid according to the Father’s leading, we must also consider his prayers as part of those actions. Jesus did not speak words that came from him but spoke words that came from the Father. This includes the words He spoke in prayer. The prayers of the Son were a reflection of the Father’s heart, and ours should be as well.
This scripture urges the Church to pray specifically for those in authority over us. This includes many who are not believers and who disagree with the truth. We are being urged to pray for those who might use their position or power to try to subdue or oppress the Church. The reason we are to pray in such a way is clear from this passage. This type of prayer pleases God. When we pray in this way, we are merely reflecting the heart of God over the situation. This is our ultimate goal in prayer. We want to do as Jesus did and pray that which the Father desires that we pray. What we request should be in line with the Father’s heart if what we desire is in line with his will. Prayer that pleases God is prayer that contends for those things for which He desires that we contend. The prayers of the righteous are effective because they seek what the Father seeks.
All too often we pray for things that we desire without considering whether they are the things that God desires. Our insight into the things of the spirit is short-sighted and limited. We must rely on the Father’s insight if we are to pray according to his will. The purpose of prayer is not to effect change that aligns with our desires. The purpose of prayer is to effect change that aligns with what God desires. We are to reflect that which we learn from the Father. This is what the Son did while on Earth, and this is what we are called to do as well. God gives us the gift of prayer so that we can learn the things that reside in his heart and speak them into action. It is a partnership in which we are invited to contend in the spirit for his will. Father, thank You for the privilege of allowing us to partner in prayer with You for your purposes, and remind us of the great responsibility we carry.