Paul asks Timothy to tell his constituents to pray for “kings and for all in authority” (v.1). This is paralleled in v. 8 where Paul expresses his desire that the men should pray “lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.” Whatever they might feel about the leaders in their city-states and especially with the “Great King” at the center of the Empire, the men should pray for them. Politics is after all the organization of the “polis” (=Greek word for “city”), and the men who are involved in it need God’s help “that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.” All authority comes from God, after all, and so even in political life, the Church contributes through its prayer.
I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Tim. 2:1-2)
Paul asks that the Church pray for all peoples, for kings and those in high positions “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” Peace, security, freedom of religion, progress — these are all desirable since God desires all men to be saved “and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” The same societal characteristics that make up for progress and the realization of the common good helps the spread of the gospel that Paul proclaims (v. 7). When we pray for for the commonweal, we also pray that the Church be facilitated in the realization of its mission.
I think I should take more active participation in the Mass by composing the prayers of the faithful for the Masses I celebrate or at least adding to the canned petitions of the day more often.
Lord Jesus, King of the Universe, Lord of all. I pray for all those directly involved in leading our people towards the common good of our nation. May they allow us to have a foretaste of your kingdom of justice and peace in an honest and sincere commitment to the well-being of our country. I also pray that all nations may experience the peace that only Your reign can provide.