Paul writes to Timothy, ‘I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.’ (1 Tim 2:1-2) This is a reminder to us to pray for those in authority over us so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
The Christmas story is set in tumultuous times. The Roman Empire was ruling over Israel; King Herod tried to kill Jesus at birth so as to avoid having a rival for his throne. Ruthlessness, greed, power-grabbing tactics and injustice were as prevalent in those times as they are now. Living a peaceful life was, apparently, no longer an option for Mary and Joseph; they were uprooted from Nazareth and sent on a journey to Bethlehem; then they had to flee to Egypt. People today are fleeing from war zones, living in desperate conditions and facing unjust and cruel political regimes. If we want a peaceful life, we must be alert and we must pray for peace. Prayer has to be an integral part of our everyday lives; we must know the daily discipline of prayer, which is fundamentally inviting God into every area of our lives.