“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.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Tempers always seem fly during an election year, but this year even more-so than normal. A large number of Americans are horrified at the vehement and hateful rhetoric coming from Donald Trump, and others horrified at the prospect of a Hillary Clinton becoming president, due to her past and stance on issues. But one of the two is going to win and become president of the United States, and so, no matter which candidate does win, a lot of people will have their fears realized. Many will probably be Christians. So, as a Christian, how do you live in a country with a President that you find appalling?
Paul asks us to pray for them. Yes, pray for President Trump, or President Clinton, whichever option seems worse to you. Remember, Paul is writing at a time when Rome was ruled largely by dictators, and Christians were persecuted as atheistic enemies of the state (since they did not pay homage to the Roman gods).
Note that in this passage, Paul doesn’t say “pray that those in high positions will adopt Christianity and make that the state religion.” He also doesn’t say to pray for persecution so that they all can die as martyrs. I previously had never given this much thought, but Paul reveals a lot when he says pray “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” He basically is saying “pray that we would be left alone by the authorities.” He is advocating that Christians live a godly life, acting out the principles that Jesus lived. He doesn’t encourage, or discourage, Christians from political advocacy or participating in political power. He just encourages Christians to pray that those in political leadership will allow Christians to live out their faith.
So, no matter who becomes President, who becomes your Mayor, Governor, Senator, or Representative, pray that they will pursue wise policies and pray that they will allow Christians to continue to practice their faith, quietly godly.