Prepare The Way With Prayer

Have you ever heard a message and thought it was excellent and timely for the moment at hand?  And then, you hear it again about 16 years later and, WOW, it is even more timely today than it was back then.  This blog is about just such a message.  It is only the highlights but is so timely for what we are going through as the Body of Christ and as a nation. 

I Timothy 2:1-4 – Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
We are instructed in I Timothy to pray for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, so we can lead quiet and peaceable lives in all honesty and godliness.  This scripture does not make any exceptions for the kings or for those in authority.  We are to pray for the righteous and unrighteous leaders in our lives.  
There are three different types of kings (or leaders) that we will live under at some time or another.
The David Type of King
Acts 13:22 – When He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, of whom He testified, saying, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will fulfill My entire will.
Acts 13:36 – “For after David had served by the counsel of God in his own generation, he fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw decay.
David was a righteous king, a man after God’s own heart, one that God knew would fulfill His ENTIRE will.  It was said of David at the end that he served by the counsel of God in his generation.  A righteous king is easy to pray for, is very humble and is not perfect.  He can make grave mistakes but is humble before God.  And this type of king inspires us to desire to be this way.
The Cyrus Kind of King
Isaiah 44:28 – It is I who says of Cyrus, “He is My shepherd, and shall perform all My desire”; and he declares to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” and to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”
Ezra 1:1-8 – Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he issued a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,
“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:
“The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him, and may he go to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel. He is the God who is in Jerusalem. Whoever remains in any place where he sojourns, let the men of his place help him with silver, gold, goods, and animals, along with voluntary gifts for the house of God in Jerusalem.”
Then the heads of the households of Judah and Benjamin, and the Levitical priests, with all those whose spirits God had stirred, rose up to go up to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. So everyone all around them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, gold, goods, animals, and precious things, besides all that was given voluntarily. 7 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought from Jerusalem and had put in the house of his gods. Cyrus king of Persia even brought forth more for them, by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer and had them numbered for Sheshbazzar, who was the prince of Judah.
Cyrus was a heathen king that was anointed by God for a specific plan and purpose.  He was charged by God to rebuild Jerusalem.  He was the only one with the power and authority to allow the Jews to go back to Jerusalem, he was the one with the money to rebuild the temple and he was the only one that could make sure it happened.  God did not require that he repent or be saved to be used.  God will use unrighteous kings and leaders to fulfill His purpose because they are in the right place at the right time and have what is needed to fulfill God’s plan.  They are anointed by Him for that purpose and we are commanded to pray for them.  Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, was used of God to bring Glasnost to Russia which opened the way for the fall of the Soviet Union.  He was not a godly leader but he was the one in place to do what needed to be done at that time.
The Pharaoh Kind of King
Romans 9:17 – For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth.”
“The same sun which melts wax hardens clay. And the same Gospel which melts some persons to repentance hardens others in their sins” – Charles Spurgeon
God raised Pharaoh up to show His power.  Pharaoh’s heart was hardened to the plagues God sent on Egypt.  A David or Cyrus kind of king would have repented immediately.  But Pharaoh’s heart hardened with each plague.  And God needed a heart that would be hardened so He could show His power and speed up the deliverance of Israel.
Acts 4:27-28 – Indeed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were assembled together against Your holy Son Jesus whom You have anointed,  to do what Your hand and Your counsel had foreordained to be done.
Herod was a wicked, heathen king that was anointed by God to crucify Jesus.  It had been foretold for centuries of Jesus’ return to Jerusalem to be crucified.  God needed a king with the authority to order and carry out the crucifixion.  The Jews could not try and sentence Jesus.  Only a Roman king had that authority.  Jesus would never have been crucified if Herod had been a David or Cyrus kind of king.  And we would all be headed to hell without a Savior.  Jesus had to be crucified and God needed a king with a hard heart and the authority necessary to carry out His plan.
As stated before, we are instructed as the Body of Christ to pray for kings and all that are in authority.  This means that we are to pray for righteous and unrighteous leaders equally.  When we pray, God will deal with them according to His will.  Our prayers will soften the hearts of some leaders and harden the hearts of other leaders, cause some leaders to be raised up and cause others to be brought down.  But some leaders will not be brought down until they have fulfilled their destiny.