The Purple Tier and How to Pray for Church and State - and our Hearts2
1 Timothy 2:1-8 (NASB): “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity … I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension” (or “anger and quarreling” in ESV).
As our nation faces new lockdowns and State authorities moved us into the most severe and restrictive purple tier, how should we as a church pray? The above scripture is a place to start today, that we might live in Christ’s tranquil peace in a world of turmoil and fear. Our authorities are imperfect as we are, but we're to be thanking God as we pray for them and us, rather than complaining, quarreling, or stirring angry dissension.
Tomorrow morning, GCBC leaders (elders and deacons with input from others) will gather to pray and plan next Sunday’s gathering at the church campus in light of all this. We'll keep you updated on any changes in the next day or two, but please keep us in your prayers (more on that below). Our County Board of Supervisors is meeting today (11/17) to discuss county impacts to State-level changes, and our County Health Officer also spoke with pastors yesterday and will be sharing more later this week at a Town Hall meeting. How can we pray for them? We all have questions we don’t have answers to yet, but we have the privilege to pray to the One with all wisdom that our authorities and we greatly need.
Whether your temptation is discouragement about the church or defiance toward the State, or anxiousness about the future or anger about the present (I swing through those as well, and that's just today!) let’s strive by grace to stay together as Christ’s family. And let's pray together for unity, starting with a heart check on our own personal humility and charity we show to those who see things differently.
Click HERE for ways to pray for your shepherds in these unique times (aka pastor/elders: Corey, Cliff, Mark, Steve and me). Credit to Tim Challies
“But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another … encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone … always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-18 NASB)
Click HERE for a shepherd’s prayer requests. It was written many years ago but as I look forward to being with you and preaching this Sunday, let's pray in a special way for this Lord's Day. These are good for all of us as a church to help keep seeking our sovereign and supreme Christ. If you want to print this link HERE as a bookmark to keep handy, these prayers are always needed!
Last but not least, this link HERE is another helpful resource to print and keep on how to pray for our government, from Frank Erb’s message to us last month.
Let’s keep seeking Christ above all (Colossians 3:1-2), speaking in ways that honor Him (v. 8), and leading conversations to His gospel as we were exhorted to by Pastor Corey last Sunday (see 4:2-6 also for great prayers to that end).
In the grace and peace of the King of kings and Lord of lords on His throne,