Dear Minster and friends,
“I urge them first of all, petitions, prayers, intercessions be made for all people ..for all those in authority, that we may live peaceful & quiet lives in all godliness & holiness” 1 Tim 2.1-2
This week, in a time of turbulence, we have witnessed the unusual and peaceful handover of power from one leader to another. Easy to take this for granted. Many countries in the world require a coup, a military takeover, a struggle involving botched elections, violence, bribery and corruption. So as we consider prayer, it is good to give thanks for the peaceful transfer. Thanksgiving is the first type of prayer for our nation.
The second type of prayer is petition – that is when we have things we are asking God to do, give health, wisdom, courage and perseverance to all our leaders and those in authority. In the old Prayer Book of the Church of England these prayers for the royal family and elected officials are written out in full, but we can use any words we like, but we Should pray daily for those entrusted with the burdens of leadership.
Thirdly, intercessions, are those prayers we pray when we stand before God in prayer on behalf of others. It is an older concept and one we are less used to in the West where democracy has been our form of government for so long. But imagine a time of direct rule from monarchs, members of the public would find it difficult or impossible to have an audience, but someone in the court could make representation, could plead a cause on behalf of another. The scriptures encourage us to come before the throne of grace with confidence – to ask the King of Heaven to bring success to the cause of our leaders. We could and should pray in this intercession way.
So, as the summer rolls on, we have new names to add to our list. A new Prime Minister and cabinet facing extremely daunting situations. Pray regularly, and by name, and specifically for each of them, our elected officials, and for all those in authority.
With much love,