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. (1Ti 2:1,2 NASB)
In today’s world we tend to think that the end of life is to climb to a place with power over many and that large corporate institutions are the best thing on earth. The Bible suggests quite the contrary. The root of this is of course that God is a relational being. As human beings our relational capacity has a limit. The way we have largely learnt to function with social media and mass exposure is not the Biblical norm for communities. God’s purpose is that we can function on a relational basis, not mere knowledge or information. Without relationship the most important issue of character is disregarded. Then we end up with distrust where there should be trust and integrity.
Paul urges the reader to pray for kings and those in authority. He is fully aware of the temptation that comes with having power over others. This is where it is even more important to be a person of character and integrity. Cracks in our inner life will easily be exploited by the spiritual powers. How many have fallen for the temptation to misuse power over people? History is filled with examples.
So we are to pray for those in places of power and authority, so that they have an extra protection in the spirit and don’t get overwhelmed and tempted to compromise in their service. Our praying for them is both a protection for them and more so a protection for those they serve. Communities that are functional were meant to have a relational substance and therefore, by nature, they will not exceed certain numbers. Our daily lives are meant to take place in such communities. It is not about gaining infinite amounts of money through greed or owning markets. Nor is it about seeking to control people through having more power. The Kingdom of God is relational and it is about serving one another.
Pray therefore for those in places of power and authority!