What is a believer’s role in politics?
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.”¹ God is the only restrainer of evil, but he often restrains it through people, both believers and non-believers. ² Before the Babylonian’s captured Israel, God said that he would punish them after they punished Israel.³ God often relents from great destruction if even one person will repent and pray.⁴ And we know that the prayer of many is even more powerful.⁵
Along with prayer, God also requires action, of various kinds, according to our calling.⁶ If we do our role, like Daniel, Paul or Esther God said he would make sure we have an effect on those around us.⁷
Sometimes it’s God’s will for destruction, and no amount of prayer will bring prosperity, like when God rebuked Baruk for wanting to establish himself, during a time of destruction.⁸ Or when Elijah rebuked his servant for trying to gain wealth during God’s punishment of Israel.⁹If it’s God’s will for destruction, we should be praying for mercy and compassion, so that God’s destruction is not as severe, but we should not pray for prosperity and abundance, if we know it’s not his will.¹⁰
We cannot change the peace, morality, or prosperity of a nation by our own effort. God is the only one who can do anything good, apart from him we can do nothing.¹¹ It would have been foolish for Daniel to nag king Nebuchadnezzar to do good, knowing it would only anger him. Instead we have to speak and act according to the wisdom and opportunities God gives us.¹² It’s not wrong to strive against evil, but we must do it God’s way. This requires knowing his will, and what part he wants us to play.¹³ While we strive to find God’s will, and wait on Him to act, we can pray. And if we want to pray effectively, we must strive to live in a way that pleases God.¹⁴
① 1 Timothy 2:1-2 ② 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 / Habakkuk 1:5-6 ③ Jeremiah 25:8-9 / Jeremiah 25:12 ④ 1 Kings 21:25-29 / 2 Kings 20:1-7 / Jonah 3:6-10 ⑤ 2 Corinthians 1:11 / Mathew 18:20 / 2 Chronicles 7:14 ⑥ James 2:15-16 ⑦ Matthew 10:18 ⑧ Jeremiah 45:4-5 / Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 ⑨ 2 Kings 5:25-26 ⑩ 1 Chronicles 21:8-13 ⑪ John 15:5 / Mark 10:18 / James 1:17 ⑫ Esther 4:13-14 / Ephesians 2:10 ⑬ Ephesians 5:17 ⑭ James 5:16 / 1 Peter 3:7 / Matthew 5:23-24
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