Fire and Ice

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

1 Timothy 2:1–4

Being President’s Day I thought it only right to focus my own thoughts and prayers on our country and to pray for our President and those in authority. If ever there was a time in our country that our nations leaders needed prayer it is now. The apostle Paul wrote to a young pastor named Timothy to exhort him to prioritize his prayer life in such a way that he never forgot to pray for those in positions of authority and to pray for ourselves as we pray for them. I am certain the apostle Paul was fully aware of the disdain one individual can feel towards another especially when you are thinking of those who have charge over you and in some capacity you are in a subservient role.

Regardless of what you think of those running our country we still have the responsibility to pray and intercede knowing that one day every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father. Our prayers to be truly effective should not be based on policy change but rather heart change. The apostle Paul tells us how to pray for those in authority. Supplications are a humble call for help from God. Prayers can be defined as simply having our hearts fully engaged with the heart of God. Intercessions are prayers offered in love and support of the one we are praying for and on their behalf not ours. Giving thanks is the opposite of worry. Often times when we pray for those in authority we do so out of fear of what they might do with their power. The apostle Paul writes to remind Timothy to give thanks to God, not for those in leadership but to God who is faithful to His promises and who will ultimately bring His will to pass. Thank God for that!

The focus of our prayers for those in authority is that they would be saved not that they would create policies that align with our desires but rather with God’s. 1 Timothy 2 is a call to aim high not low and to focus on God’s will not our own. The most important prayers we can offer on the behalf of others is two fold. First that those in authority would be saved from eternal damnation and second and just as important is that we as followers of Jesus would walk in love towards them. In short the apostle Paul is exhorting all men to love God first and foremost and then to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Just think, one day the heavens and the earth are going to melt away in a fervent heat and those who reject God’s salvation will find themselves in hell for all eternity. That’s what the apostle Paul has in mind as he exhorts us to pray. For the believer our fear isn’t fire but rather ice and is why the apostle Paul exhorts us to pray that we ourselves would live peaceable lives in all godliness and reverence. One of the marks of the last days is that the love of many will grow cold. The danger in the church today aren’t the flames of judgment but the judgment that stems from a cold and indifferent heart. Prayer is the method God has given us to fan the flames of God’s love that would melt our own cold heart.

Don’t let your love grow cold towards government and those in authority but rather ask God to give us a renewed passion to offer supplications and prayer, to intercede, and to give thanks to God knowing that…

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…”

Isaiah 9:6


Michael Osthimer




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