For the most part, I don’t live an angry life anymore. Doctors, educators, social workers, people on the street – God has helped me see (most of the time) that they are also people made in his image and deserve a respectful, God-honoring engagement.
But there’s still one group I’m too easily willing to see as being incompetent, lazy, corrupt or stupid – elected officials. My expectations are pretty low in that area, though they are the very ones who make decisions that result in the need for remembrances like Memorial Day and Veterans Day. And today millions of people live with disabilities they incurred through their military service as well.
As I reflected on the following Memorial Day letter from Joe Scheumann, a young man with whom I work at Desiring God, I recognized (again) I’m just hurting myself with my attitude about elected officials. Whether or not they hold a life-affirming, God-honoring position on unborn babies with disabilities or special education opportunities, we are called to pray for them SO THAT we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity – and it pleases God!
So, on this Memorial Day 2011, let us remember those who have died in military service. And let us also do something God has said is good for us and pleasing to him: supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings for “all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Email to Desiring God’s Philippian Fellowship, May 27, 2011:
May 30, 2011, is Memorial Day; a day in which the United States pauses to honor American soldiers who have died in all wars. So, in light of this holiday I thought 1 Timothy 2:1-3 is a very relevant passage of Scripture on which to meditate and pray. It says,
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Paul first calls us to make supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings for all people and for kings and all who are in authority. Paul does not limit our prayers to only people or leaders of the country we live in; instead, he calls us to pray for all men and all authorities.
Next Paul gives the reason for our prayers. The goal of our prayers for all men and authorities is that we might lead peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. Notice that this is not merely a peaceful and quiet life, but it is a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
This aim of the prayer is then grounded in the character of God. In verse 3 Paul links the goodness of peaceful and quiet life in godliness and dignity with God’s nature. Paul says this is good in the sight of God our Savior and the aspect which Paul chooses to highlight about our Savior is that he desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.
So then, this Memorial Day weekend, will you join me in obeying Paul’s exhortation in making supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for all men and all authorities? Let us pray for them so that we might live peaceful and quiet lives in godliness and dignity knowing this is good in the sight of God our Savior.
Thank you for standing with us in prayer,