1 Timothy 2:1-6, “Therefore 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. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
In June of 2009, 95-year-old Emma Gray died. For over two decades, she had been the cleaning lady in a big house. Each night as she did her work, she prayed for blessings, wisdom, and safety for the man she worked for.
Although Emma worked in the same place for 24 years, the occupants of the residence changed every four years or so. Over the years, Emma offered her nightly prayers for six US Presidents: Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter.
Emma had her personal favorites, but she prayed for them all. She followed the instruction we read in 1Timothy 2 to pray for “and all who are in authority.” The verses go on to explain why we should pray. God wants us to “live” “a quiet and peaceable life,” being a godly and reverent person. In fact, it “is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior…” because He “desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.”
The question for us today is…are we a well placed pawn? I believe Emma was a well placed pawn.
Proverbs 15:29b tells us, “He hears the prayer of the righteous.” Who knows how God used Emma’s faithful prayers? Emma may not have even known. Romans 8:26-27, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” In Proverbs 21:1 we read, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,?Like the rivers of water;?He turns it wherever He wishes.”
When we were young children and we daydreamed, did we dream of being the pawn, the prince or princess, the king or queen. Didn’t we daydream of being the big hero, the one who wins, the leader? We don’t dream about being the one no one notices, the person behind the scenes. Is our personal ambition more important than being used by God?
John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
My goal in ministry has been that I would be less and the people would be more…I don’t want to be famous or well-known, I just want to be found faithful to His call.
God has called us to pray for three groups of people, “For all men, for kings and all who are in authority…”
Like Emma, we are to pray for others—leaders, parents, bosses, co-workers, etc. Is there someone God is calling you to pray for today?
Ephesians 6:18, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints–”
A poem by D. DeHaan
No leader is beyond God’s grace
When righteous people pray;
For when God’s children intercede,
The Lord will have His way.
Jeremiah 29:7, “And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.”
The level of peace, (or the ability to live “a quiet and peaceable life”) is directly related to our ability and willingness to make supplication, to pray, to intercede and give thanks for others.
To influence people for God, intercede with God for people!