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For Everyone

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“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—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 men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time” (1 Tim. 2:1–5).

During the Praise and Prayer event in Colorado Springs on February 26, I was reminded by U.S. C&MA President John Stumbo that prayer is more than just work; it is also a privilege, a duty, a calling, a ministry that all those who follow Christ must engage in. Besides praying for our dear children or grandchildren, distant relatives and even global staff members in far off lands, what else should Alliance people be praying for? Let me suggest the following:

• Let us pray for all people—“for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Tim. 2:1–2).

When the apostle Paul advises his dear “son” Timothy on church issues relating to worship, he includes these words, which still reverberate through the ages as sound counsel. Our churches, like the one in Ephesus, should often be praying for “all people,” especially those in authority.

Paul’s advice does not seem to leave wiggle room for us to choose along party lines. In the words of Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, we follow the Lamb’s Agenda, not the agenda of the elephant or the donkey. The apostle Paul adds a reason for praying in this manner—“that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” Therefore, when we kneel, sit or bow our heads, let us also remember to pray for our civil authorities at all levels. They need divine wisdom and counsel for their decision-making process, something that seems to be lacking due to troublesome laws and statements contradicting longstanding beliefs on the right to life of the unborn, the definition of marriage and even the call to “welcome the strangers among us.” All of our churches should regularly be engaged in praying for as many groups of people as they can think of, not only asking God to bless them and guide them but also asking God to show us how we can engage people in these groups so that they, too, can come to a saving knowledge of the truth. The apostle Paul says that “this is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men” (vv. 3–6).

• Let us pray for our cities, especially for the diversity of ethnic groups among the urban communities in which 80 percent of the U.S. population lives. These cities, both big and small, share a common factor with the city of Ephesus—its ethnic diversity. This New Testament Church was praised by the apostle for its “faith in the Lord Jesus” and its “love for all the saints” (see Eph. 1:15). That love for people was manifested in such a way that it became a mark of distinction, so much so that when God’s people departed from it, they were warned in the Book of Revelation to repent and return to the love they had at first, otherwise Christ Himself would come and remove their lampstand from its place (see Rev. 2:4–5). So I urge everyone reading this column to ask God to show and guide us in ways to effectively demonstrate our love toward all people, especially new American immigrants in our neighborhoods.

I close with Paul’s word to the church in Philippi:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6–7).

Let us, the Alliance family, pray for all people and for all the diverse groups within our cities—in Christ’s name. Amen!

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