Pray for your parents. — pray for those in authority over you. 1 Timothy 2:1-3
Having settled the authority issue, there is now room to address the issue of prayer for our parents. In the second chapter of 1 Timothy, Paul offers and exhortation to pray. He first commands prayer for all men and then he adds a few categories to explain his application. The phrase, “All men” includes those in authority over you. It is important to understand the context of this chapter. The authorities were persecuting Christians. Every time there was a change of leadership in Rome, there was a change in how the Christians were treated. Many would not have wanted to pray for those in authority. Paul makes it clear, the one who is walking with Jesus will pray for those in authority.
Paul gives two primary reasons for this prayer. The first is that Christians might live a life of social peace. That is, that they might be able to practice their faith quietly, without persecution, and with dignity. This prescription is particularly important for the believer who has unbelieving parents. It also recognizes that parents are not immune from the temptations of this world and from their position of authority. They could interfere with the spiritual life of their children.
The second reason to pray for those in authority over you is because it pleases God. As some of my buddies might say, nuff said. It is pleasing to God for His servants to pray for those in authority over you. This behavior gains favor from God resulting in blessings. Remember to obey the Lord for this is good. If you read further in the chapter, you see another concern; the salvation of others. Verse 4 is a continuation of the sentence in verse 3. There is a connection between submission to authority, subsequent prayers for those in authority, and the salvation of others. It seems evident that this application could be made toward unbelieving parents, siblings, cousins, and family friends. The salvation of these people groups correlates to the prayers offered for the parents. This is heavy responsibility.
How do you pray for your parents? There are many was of course, but the model offered in our previous studies regarding praying for you children might be a good start.