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Read Introduction to 1 Timothy


2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.


The object of the prayer request in verse 1 is “everyone.” However, Paul lists certain people who need special prayer—political leaders.

2 for kings and all who are in authority,

At the time of writing First Timothy, the Roman emperor was Nero, a persecutor of the saints. Nevertheless, Paul asks for prayer for all kings and others in authority. The category here is the authorities of the state, including kings or emperors, governors, and local authorities. This is a classification of people that Christians could neglect in prayer. God instituted government, and since He did, we should respect government of whatever kind. He did this for the benefit of society


“That” indicates the purpose of praying for political leaders.

we may lead a quiet and peaceable life

A “quiet” life is one free from persecution. God wanted the Christian to lead a “quiet” life in another passage (1 Th 4:11-12).

A “peaceable life” is a sense of inner tranquility. Christians should pray for stability in government and freedom from political and military unrest. There was a time in the Roman government when there was a Pax Romana, or Roman Peace when roads were built throughout the empire. When there is a state of peace among governments, the gospel can advance.

in all godliness

“Godliness” refers to living one’s life with reverence toward God (1 Tim 3:16; 4:7-8; 6:3, 5-6, 11; 2 Tim 3:5; Tit 1:1). A godly person is oriented to God; he is Godward in his orientation. Other usages besides the pastorals are found in Acts 3:12; 2 Pe 1:3, 6-7; 3:11. “Godliness” is about respect for God.

and reverence.

“Reverence” is to live a life worthy of respect from others. “Reverence” in this context means in reference to men; we relate to others with a sense of respect.


God divinely appointed government as an institution.


Christians should pray for all their leaders, no matter how obnoxious they may be. No one is outside the influence of prayer. The Bible puts emphasis on respect and honor of political leaders (Ro 13:1; 1 Pe 2:17; Tit 3:1, 2; 1 Pe 2:13, 14). God also calls upon us to pray for them. The purpose is “to lead a quiet and peaceful life.” If our nation were at war, we would have a very different lifestyle.

A bad government is better than no government. Anarchy is the worst form of government. Christians are to pray for a sound government so that they may live their lives normally. Christians should be model citizens.