“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.“ Jer. 29:7 (NIV)
Heavenly Father, these words you spoke through Jeremiah are quite shocking. You called your people to bring a redemptive presence to the pagan land of Babylon. Rather than making it their goal to leave, destroy, or overly acclimate to Babylon’s culture, they were to bring the firstfruits of your kingdom there. Help us, likewise, to live and love to your glory—no matter our passport, the political atmosphere, or how pleased or disgusted we are with the government.
Instead of being cynics, may we be servants and intercessors. Instead of withdrawing out of disgust, may we be engaged with hope and kindness. Instead of seeking judgment on our government, may we seek its peace and prosperity. Instead of being naïve and passive, focus us for loving mercy and working for justice.
Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. 1 Pet. 2:17 (ESV)
Show us how to honor our “emperor,” and others in authority—when it’s easy, and when it seems impossible. Our confidence is in the One who sits on the throne of heaven, not the one who sits in any other seat of authority.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Phil. 3:20 (NIV)
Father, herein lies our peace and joy, freedom and hope. Our truest, most defining and binding citizenship is in heaven. As we seek to obey human authorities as your delegated servants, so we will gladly obey you above all men. Give us grace and courage for the coming days, when obeying you will be costlier than we can imagine.
As Jesus’ kingdom has already appeared, so one Day it will come in fullness. We eagerly await Jesus’ return, for on that Day “the kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). So very Amen we pray, with hope and joy, in Jesus’ name.