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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

May 8, 2015

Pray for those in authority

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

In his first letter to Timothy the apostle Paul exhorts us to pray for other people, and it is apparent that he means people who are not of our faith: "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" (1 Timothy 2:12).

In my 40 years as an elder I have sometimes heard unusual comments about Paul's exhortation: Why would we want to pray for political leaders and heads of government? According to those who made such comments, that was a strange request.

Anyone who thinks that Paul's exhortation is strange will have an opportunity to discuss it with him personally at the resurrection.

Paul continues and gives us the reason for his exhortation in verse 2: "That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence."

We should pray for these people so their decisions have a positive effect on our lives as Christians.

One example might be this week's strike in Germany by the train engineer union GDL, which has greatly reduced train travel in the longest strike against the Deutsche Bahn in history. We have brethren who travel by train to services, and in some cases our elders and speakers also travel by train to a service location to conduct our church service.

When I heard that the GDL union was planning a long strike, my first reaction was: "Hopefully not on Pentecost weekend!" If the strike had taken place two weeks later, we probably would have had to cancel services in Berlin, Hamburg and Plauen.

Compared to the problems our world faces – hunger, ebola, war, the never ending refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, etc. – the GDL strike doesn't seem so important. But it can have an effect on our Christian life.

Maybe Paul's exhortation makes a little sense after all?

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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