This website, "PrayForAuthoritiesUSA," is based upon verses 1 and 2 of chapter 2 of the Apostle Paul's first letter to Timothy. Paul said that the first and most important thing is to pray for those in authority. But why?
Verse 1 begins with the word, "Therefore." If you have heard the saying countless times, "when you see 'therefore', find out what it's there for," that's a sign that you are listening to a good pastor or teacher, or reading good books. If it's new to you, (depending upon how new a Christian you are), that may mean something, too.
Step back three verses to (1:18). There, Paul comits a charge, he bestows a responsibility upon Timothy, the young pastor in Ephesus, "that...you may wage the good warfare." The "prophecies previously made" concerning Timothy are to always be in his mind and heart, for "by them" this warfare will be waged.
Paul's instructions in chapter 2 are therefore the things Timothy needs to do if this "good warfare," (as described in 2 Corinthians 10: 4-5), is to be fought, not only by TImothy but by the members of the church he is shepherding, and by us as well.
As soon as Paul mentions this "good warfare," he stresses it must be fought "having faith and a good conscience." Paul goes on to say that some have not just neglected to continue having faith and having a good conscience, but have deliberately rejected both. They have refused to do so. Paul gives two examples.
Just what does this mean, "having faith and a good conscience?" In Scripture, "faith" has an object. It means faith in something or someone, a choice to rely upon that thing or person, a transfer of trust. If you are given a seat at a table and you come very close to sitting in it but you never really let the chair be the reason you're not on the floor, if you're holding back, holding yourself up some other way, wouldn't your host be asking why you don't "have faith in that chair?"
Most of us know what a good conscience is. Most of us can think of some stellar examples, either positive or negative. (In negative terms, I mean by "stellar" a public reputation that has blown apart like a supernova.)
When Paul combines into one thought, "having faith and a good conscience," I believe he is telling Timothy to adopt the attitude he himself showed in chapter 3 of his letter to the Philippians, especially verse 12: "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected,..." viewed in light of verse 3, "...who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." In short, he is saying to realize it is only Christ's power that will keep us clear of temptation to enable a good conscience.
There are too many places to quote here, where Christ or the Father has told us it is a waste of time to pray, to attempt to conduct spiritual warfare through prayer, if we hold onto sin that we know to be sin. Jesus denounced the religious leaders who "made long prayers" in public to impress others, but who were cold-hearted and selfish, "devouring widows' houses."
Living our Christian life day-to-day holding faith and a good conscience may feel sometimes like we are "going in circles." It may seem tedious. The electrical power that makes an advanced standard of living possible is produced by generators which are, however huge, basically an armature wound with wire, rotating in a magnetic field - going around in circles. It is this "going in circles" of trusting in Christ day by day to keep us on a path where our "talking the talk" is in phase with our "walking the walk" that gives spiritual power to fulfill Paul's urgent request to pray for "all men, for kings and for those in authority," so that our prayers mean something.
This request has a spiritual promise attached, which the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write: that praying for those in authority will make it possible to live a quiet life in all godliness and honesty.
Faith is believing that God keeps His promises. Have faith, rely on Christ to steer you with a clear conscience, and claim that promise. This nation needs all of us to do that.
A Christian man living in Southeastern Pennsylvania, USA. Came under conviction in 1978 or 1979 to begin believing the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Came to saving faith in Christ in October 1982 by confessing I was a sinner by nature and only Christ could save me.