This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
God wants his people to pray for everyone…and especially for those who have authority over us, such as those in government. He wants us to pray because it is important that everyone come to salvation.
I am sure you have heard of John Lennon’s song, “Imagine.” In it he suggests life would be better off without religion or political borders. I understand his thinking. At times in human history, some incredible atrocities have been committed in the name of God and country.
However, recently I have discovered those who claim to have no faith are no less territorial, and just as likely to demonstrate aggression against those with whom they disagree. I have come to the conclusion neither religion nor one’s nationality is the problem. Human nature and sin is the problem.
We are all inclined to draw lines, justify ourselves, and condemn others. In every social circle there are pecking orders, mores, unofficial rules, and class distinctions. Put any group of people in a lunchroom over an extended period of time and they will classify themselves.
This is why it is so hard for us to see people the way God sees them. God is impartial in the purest sense. He could care less about where people have been, or who they claim to be. He already knows their hearts and His heart’s desire is to see them come to repentance and accept His grace.
So how do our prayers help? If God already wants everyone to be saved, why do we need to pray for anyone?
We pray because those who need Jesus may not be aware of His love for them, and it is important for us to help awaken their spiritual senses. We pray because we might be the ones God wants to use to help lead them to faith, and we need Him to help us say and do the right things.
Many people who have come to Jesus talk about other people who were a part of their journey. And my guess is, those who traveled with them were a people of prayer.
I can’t say for certain how God works behind the veil that separates heaven from earth. But I know for certain the Bible says He does. It also says He listens to us and answers us. So we should pray.
And then we watch. You just never know what God might do.
Dear God, put the souls of others on my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.