To Lead Quiet and Peaceful Lives

To Lead Quiet and Peaceful Lives

We should pray that governing authorities, both local and federal, would not seek to thwart or suppress our faithful and public Christian witness. Opposing the witness of Christ’s church is foolish because opposing Christ’s church is opposing Christ himself (Acts 9:1–5). And that won’t end well.

In 1 Timothy 2:1–2, Paul wants believers to pray all kinds of prayers for all kinds of people. This practice is good and pleasing to God (1 Tim. 2:3). But what are the kinds of things we should pray for?

Paul says to pray 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 Tim. 2:2).

When Paul wrote those words to Timothy, the emperor in power was Nero (from AD 54–68), and Nero was an emperor who opposed Christians. Paul was eventually martyred sometime in the mid-60s, during Nero’s reign. Apparently Paul’s prayers for rulers weren’t contingent on their goodness or wisdom. In fact, Nero’s hostility and spiritual rebellion were reasons why Christians should pray!

Paul’s hope for the saints is that they could “lead a peaceful and quiet life” (1 Tim. 2:2). He’s talking here about a political and social climate that allows Christianity to thrive and not be suppressed. A “peaceful and quiet life” is the opposite of hostile or persecutorial conditions.

The biblical authors never tell us to pray for persecution. In fact, when Paul does tell believers what to pray for, he says to pray for those in high positions that we might live peaceful and quiet lives. That doesn’t necessarily mean the leaders will be Christians, though praying for leaders to be saved is an important part of the prayers we offer on their behalf.

People in positions of authority can make things harder for Christians to live as Christians and to spread the gospel. Paul calls believers to pray that leaders would govern in such a way that Christians could live peaceably. This kind of life means a convictional, faithful, public life, a life without the worldly powers seeking to suppress and thwart Christian devotion.

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