1Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Prayer. Supplication, make appeal for others, intercede for other, and give thanks for others. A tall order. It is not easy to do some of these. We are to pray for those in authority and in today’s world it is very difficult to do so. There are some very evil people we know who our prayers would be for God to take them out.
Paul is telling Timothy to pray for everyone. We are not to neglect anyone. How can we pray for evil leaders of a nation who are setting out to kill us? We need to remember Paul is writing this during the Roman rule where Christians were being executed. And Paul has the audacity to instruct Timothy to pray for those who would kill him.
Paul was encouraging and charging him to pray. What do we pray for? That God would exterminate the evil? No! We are to pray for the salvation of all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Not an easy request to fulfill. Revenge may sound better…but this is not ours to do.
Paul writes in Romans 12:19 “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Vengeance belongs to God.
When someone hurts us, we need to go to God with a sense of urgency. To love God is to love those God loves. When Jesus went to the cross, He did not just die for the righteous. He died for those who were sinning against Him. He died for those who cursed Him, those who mocked Him, those who beat Him and nailed Him to the cross. He gave His life for all people. If Jesus could love others this much, what about us? Paul’s command to Timothy was a tall order. What Paul said was not just a suggestion it was a command. It was not just for Timothy; it is for us.