For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
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Augustine of Hippo
As the life of the body is the soul, so the “blessed life” of a man is God. As the sacred writings of the Hebrews have it, “Happy is that people whose God is the Lord.” Yet even such a people cherishes a peace of its own which is not to be scorned, although in the end it is not to be had because this peace, before the end, was abused. Meanwhile, it is to our advantage that there be such peace in this life. For, as long as the two cities are mingled together, we can make use of the peace of Babylon. Faith can assure our exodus from Babylon, but our pilgrim status, for the time being, makes us neighbors. All of this was in St. Paul’s mind when he advised the church to pray for this world’s kings and high authorities—in order that “we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all piety and worthy behavior.” Jeremiah, too, predicting the Babylonian captivity to the Old Testament Jews, gave them orders from God to go submissively and to serve their God by such sufferings, and meanwhile to pray ...
My very special reason for saying all this was that after I had briefly defined and interpreted these terms [i.e., the terms of Timothy :], no one should think of overlooking the passage that follows, “for all men, for kings and for all those who are in high station, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all piety and charity,” and that no one should imagine, by a common frailty of the human mind, that these prayers are not also to be made even for those at whose hands the church suffers persecution. For the members of Christ are to be gathered from every class. Hence he continues and says, “for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” And that no one might say there can be a way of salvation without partaking of the body and blood of Christ but simply by living a good manner of life and worshiping one God Almighty, Paul continues: “For there is one God and one mediator of God and men,...
For kings, who were then heathens, this being in Nero's time. (Witham)
Upon the happiness of the king generally depends that of his subjects. We pray for the emperors, says Tertullian, that God would grant them a long life, a secure throne, and a safe family, brave armies, a faithful council, and a just people. In fine, that he would grant them peace, and whatever else they could wish, either for themselves or their empire. (Apologet. cap. 30.)
The soul of some Christians might be slow at hearing this and may resist this exhortation. For at the celebration of the holy mysteries it may be necessary to offer prayers for a heathen king. Paul shows them the advantage of fulfilling this duty at least to reconcile them to the advice, “that we may lead a peaceable and quiet life.” … For God has appointed government for the public good. When therefore they use force for the common good and stand on guard for our security, isn’t it reasonable that we should offer prayers for their safety in wars and dangers? Such prayers are not excessive flattery but agreeable to the rules of justice.
If in order to put an end to public wars, and tumults, and battles, the Priest is exhorted to offer prayers for kings and governors, much more ought private individuals to do it. For there are three very grievous kinds of war. The one is public, when our soldiers are attacked by foreign armies: The second is, when even in time of peace, we are at war with one another: The third is, when the individual is at war with himself, which is the worst of all. For foreign war will not be able to hurt us greatly. What, I pray, though it slaughters and cuts us off? It injures not the soul. Neither will the second have power to harm us against our will; for though others be at war with us, we may be peaceable ourselves. For so says the Prophet, For my love they are my adversaries, but I give myself unto prayer Psalm 109:4; and again, I was at peace with them that hate peace; and, I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. Psalm 120:6-7, Septuagint But from the third, we cannot escape with...
If you think that we have no interest in the emperor’s welfare, look into our literature, read the Word of God. We ourselves do not keep it concealed, and in fact it is in some cases by chance handed over to outsiders. Learn from this literature that it has been enjoined upon us, that our charity may more and more abound, to pray to God even for our enemies and to beg for blessings for our persecutors.
Who, then, are greater enemies and persecutors of Christians, than the very parties with treason against whom we are charged? Nay, even in terms, and most clearly, the Scripture says, "Pray for kings, and rulers, and powers, that all may be peace with you.".
How detrimental to faith, how obstructive to holiness, second marriages are, the discipline of the Church and the prescription of the apostle declare, when he suffers not men twice married to preside (over a Church
We further pray to Thee for me, who am nothing, who offer to Thee, for the whole presbytery, for the deacons and all the clergy, that Thou wilt make them wise, and replenish them with the Holy Spirit. We further pray to Thee, O Lord, "for the king and all in authority".
Let us pray "for kings and those in authority "that they may be peaceable toward us, "that so we may have and lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."