I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, 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. 1 Timothy 2:1-2

If we want to live peaceful and quiet lives it is up to us to pray for those in authority. Paul doesn’t tell us to petition the government, or protest the decline in moral standards, or blame the government for not employing enough police. Rather he places the responsibility on us to pray.

It has always been this way, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). There is a price to be paid if we want God’s blessing on our land. First, we are told to humble ourselves and acknowledge we cannot solve our problems with man’s wisdom. God calls us to be “poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3) and realise we need God’s help. Second, we are to pray. Praying takes patience and determination. It’s generally not convenient as there is always something else we could be doing. Third, we’re told to seek God’s face. Rather than asking God to bless our plans, we ask God about his plans and pray that they will come to pass, regardless of our own desires. Fourth, we’re told to turn from our wicked ways. Wicked ways are generally our desires to do things our way rather than God’s.

Do we want to live peaceful and quiet lives? Are we fulfilling our responsibility to pray?