Abductive Columns

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Church's Public Discipleship:Prayer

When Paul trained his younger helper Timothy he instructed him to wed the public and private spheres via prayer.

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
Presumably Paul meant Caesar and all other rulers. Relevancy requires we mention, in our prayers, the leaders of today (those in authority). None excluded; men like President Bush, Putin, bin-Laden, Emile Lahoud, Ehud Olmert, etc. We are to pray for all those in authority, whether they acknowledge that they serve under God’s sovereignty or not.

Does the church obey God’s desire here?

Personally, I believe the body of Christ should see prayer as a crucial way of entering into the work of God’s kingdom and a way of wedding the public and private spheres. When we prayer without basis, to all in positions of authority, we constantly bridge the public-private gap that often undercuts the church’s public discipleship.

Whether the church realizes it or not, it has a rich heritage of concern for the great moral, social, and political issues of the day. Abolition of slavery, widespread availability of health care, child labor laws, and many other reforms were the fruit of Christian public discipleship.

There is plenty to pray about in the public arena. On the world platform there is the ever-growing concern for the increasing anger in the Middle East. I must admit I don’t know the right directional course. But we should all agree that’s it’s our responsibility to pray for God to act in the affairs of nations and people to move in the direction of justice, mercy, and the truth of God’s rein.


At 10:44 AM, Blogger Jim Martin said...

A very good post and so true. Far too often we have been more than ready to pray for our favorite leaders (depending upon our political preferences) while we remain silent about other national and world leaders.


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