“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority.”
—1 Timothy 2:1–2 (NKJV)
We are instructed in First Timothy 2:1–2 to pray and give thanks for kings and all who are in authority. Since we have been instructed to do so, it would be reasonable to say we have also been authorized and commissioned by God to pray these prayers. How should we pray? What do we ask for on behalf of these kings and all others in authority?
Proverbs 8:15 shows us what is necessary for kings and others in authority to rule and govern rightly.
15 By me [wisdom] kings reign, and princes decree justice.
Solomon was a king known for his wisdom. He was his father David’s choice among all of his sons to succeed him on the throne. Most importantly, he was God’s choice.
God appeared to Solomon in a dream and told him to request anything he wanted. Of all the things Solomon could have asked for, he chose wisdom to rule and judge correctly. He recognized that he needed God’s wisdom to rule worthily. God was pleased with Solomon’s request and granted him unparalleled wisdom. So pleased was God with this amazing request that He even gave Solomon the things he didn’t request—riches and honor.
Solomon’s wisdom showed up in several ways. It could be seen in his ability to handle the affairs of state (1 Kings 4:1–28). His wisdom surpassed that of other world leaders (1 Kings 4:30, 34). He composed songs and poetry (1 Kings 4:32). And he showed great understanding of the natural world (1 Kings 4:33).
Two Sources of Wisdom
It was clear to Solomon that to rule and reign justly in his kingdom, he needed divine wisdom. This is true for the king of any nation and for all others in positions of authority. The Bible speaks of two sources of wisdom. We know there is wisdom from God, or from above, but there is also wisdom that is from the earth, or from below (Isa. 29:14, 1 Cor. 2:5).
The following scriptures contrast the two types of wisdom:
1 CORINTHIANS 2:6
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought.
JAMES 3:15, 17 (NKJV)
15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
Clearly, there are two kinds of wisdom from two opposite sources. And it is obvious that of these two types of wisdom contrasted in James, the wisdom from above is the best wisdom by which kings and all who are in authority should operate.
God’s Wisdom Is Dispensed Through the Church
There are rulers who pray and ask for God’s wisdom. But what about those who don’t? We are to ask God on their behalf to give them wisdom. If no one requests divine wisdom for them to rule by, then by default, the only wisdom left for them is the wisdom from below.
We are instructed in First Timothy 2:1–2 to pray for kings. In response, we can request that wisdom be given to them. God has promised to give it liberally. And when we ask, let’s ask in faith, nothing wavering. Rather than trying to figure out what the king is supposed to do relating to national and eternal affairs, let’s absolutely trust the Holy Spirit. Remember, God’s plan not only affects the well being of a nation but also prepares the way for a harvest of souls (1 Tim. 2:4).
(Editor’s Note: Patsy Cameneti and her husband, Tony, are directors of Rhema Australia and Kenneth Hagin Ministries Australia. This article was adapted from her book For Such a Time as This.)
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