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1/24/2021 Praying for those in High Positions (為於高位掌權的人祈禱)

by Rev. Benjamin Chung (鍾立恆牧師)


1 Timothy 2:1-2 (ESV) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.


I want to bring this up this year, even though I have not in years past, even 4 years ago. Perhaps it is because the 2020 election was so fraught with divisiveness, but I also think it is because a call to peace and unity after the 2016 election would not have been the wisest decision to make from multiple angles. My decision to do so now is to begin a practice in which we should be reminded of our Christian testimony and role, especially during the period between the election date and inauguration of our country’s president.


As Christians, it is our responsibility to be a testimony of our love of Jesus to the world. As such, we need to be clear of what our responsibilities are. I do not think God called all of us to be civil rights leaders or to go to the vast reaches of the globe to evangelize to the lost tribes. Jesus did call specific people to those roles and if he did tell you to do so, don’t ignore his supernatural instructions.


One important instruction in relation to our worldly responsibilities and life is to pray. As we love our neighbors, we are to pray for the needs of one another. As we can see from Paul’s instruction to Timothy, we are also to pray for our civic needs. As I write this now, it is Tuesday, the day after MLK Day and the day before President-elect Biden will be inaugurated. Let us pray for our nation’s new leader and the other elected and appointed leaders of our nation, as they work to serve our nation. Even though we may or may not agree with the things they have done or will do, and we may or may not have voted for the individuals, we are directed to pray for them so that, in the end, “we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way”.


I want to remind us all that we worship the Lamb, not the donkey or the elephant. A pastor also shared with me of how when he prayed with his church, he heard many say “amen” until he mentioned the president, and then it was much quieter. He knew he was onto something. Instead of praying less for someone because we dislike them and may perhaps wants them to fail, let us instead pray even more for that person to change, to know our Savior, and to do that which will allow all to experience a peaceful life on this earth. If we want to see godly life on earth, let’s pray for it and live it out too!


Translation:


提摩太前書2:1-2「我勸你,第一要為萬人懇求、禱告、代求、祝謝;為君王和一切在位的,也該如此,使我們可以敬虔、端正、平安無事的度日。」


我今年要提出這樣一個想法,即使過往幾年我沒有,甚至是四年前。也許是因為2020 年大選充滿了分歧,但我也認為這是因為2016 年大選後對和平與團結的呼籲,並沒有從多個角度作出最明智處理方法的後果。我現在這樣做,是要開始一種練習,在過程中,我們應該提醒我們基督徒作的見證和角色,特別是在選舉日到總統就職的這段期間。


作為基督徒,我們有責任讓世界的人見証我們對主耶穌的愛。因此,我們需要清楚我們的職責。我不認為神呼召我們每一位成為民權領袖,或到茫茫世界裡傳福音給失落的部落。主耶穌確實有呼召特定的人去擔任這些角色,如果衪曾呼召你,請不要忽略衪奇妙的指示。


至於我們在世上的責任和生命的一項重要指示就是懇切祈禱。當我們愛鄰舍時,我們要為彼此的需要祈禱。從保羅對提摩太的指示中可以看出,我們亦要為我們的公民需要而祈禱。我現在寫這牧者心聲時是星期二,即馬丁路德金日後的第二天,亦即是當選總統拜登就職的前一天。讓我們為國家的新領袖以及其他當選和任命的領導們祈禱,因為他們正在為國家服務。即使我們可能同意或不同意他們所做或將要做的事情,又也許我們有或沒有投票給他們,但我們仍是要為他們祈禱,以至最終,「使我們可以敬虔、端正、平安無事的度日」。


我想提醒所有人,我們敬拜的是羔羊,而不是驢或大象。一位牧師也與我分享了他在教會祈禱時如何聽到許多人說「阿們」,直到他提到總統,然後就安靜了很多,他知道自己觸發了一些東西。代替減少為某些我們不喜歡的人或甚至希望他們失敗的人祈禱的次數,倒不如讓我們更多地為他們的改變而祈禱,並認識我們的救主,和讓所有人去經歷一個和平的生命。既然如此,我們就要祈禱更要活現出敬虔、端正的生活!


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