Paul tells Timothy to pray for “kings and all people in authority. That way maybe we’ll be able to live in peace” (1 Timothy 2:2). That didn’t work for Paul. Nero was the emperor at the time. He was not an endearing soul. A few years after Paul wrote this letter, Nero executed Paul along with Peter, if early Christian writers of the next generation got their history right. So, what value is there in praying for boneheads, jerks, and dictators in authority? And how are we supposed to pray for them, other than to ask God to please let them fall in love with a peasant and run off to live deep in the woods, never to be heard from again?
Paul gave Timothy a clue about how to pray for our political leaders. It’s the second sentence in verse 2: “That way maybe we’ll be able to live in peace, with our dignity and spiritual integrity.” We pray that God will help our leaders make decisions that allow the people to live in peace, with their dignity and their right to worship as