For all men

While I can’t speak for everyone, I know that for a long time, this was something I personally struggled with. When I saw the moral deprivation of our country and the poor choices of those in leadership, I resolved in myself not to concern my thoughts or prayers with them. I mean, why should I?

They obviously were bent on their own ways. How could my prayers ever make a difference in the darkened hearts of the politicians and local leaders across our nation?

And then I felt God speak into my soul that He didn’t come just for those under oppression. He also died on the cross and rose again for those doing the oppressing.

At first, I couldn’t believe it. One of the clubs I was active in my senior year at North Greenville University was an anti-human trafficking organization. I remember the girl in charge of the meetings encouraged us to not only pray for the victims and survivors, but also to pray for the traffickers, the men and women putting other people in that horrible situation.

When we think about praying for those people, the ones who would treat others as inferior or make decisions that are saturated in sin and selfishness, it makes us cringe. Why would we ever pray for people so far gone?

In 1 Timothy 1:1-2, Paul tells his young friend “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

God didn’t bridge the gap between heaven and earth so that we as His children could pick and choose who we want to join us in eternity. How dare we limit the Gospel message and the redemptive power of Jesus Christ by narrowing the scope of our mission! When did we accumulate such a deep and dark level of pride that we have exalted ourselves above the timeless plan of El Shaddai? Lord help us.

Our prayers should extend beyond our own little world and begin to press into the kingdom of darkness. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us. With Him, we have strength unparalleled and hope unprecedented.

Today I encourage all of us to begin actively and consistently praying for our President, Congress, our local government bodies, law enforcement, and other leaders we hear about. Let’s pray that the Lord grabs a hold of their hearts and that they turn from their sin. The Gospel was never meant to be withheld from anyone, and we pervert His Word when we begin to take control of what was never ours to decide.

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