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Something to read

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

- 1 Timothy 2: 1 – 4.

Something to think about

In the current climate, it is quite easy to assume that those in high positions are beyond hope. Scandal and corruption involving powerful figures is regularly in the news.

It is the same around the world. When we think about the victims in war-torn countries, we judge the leaders who cause the problems.

Yet Paul urges Timothy to pray for them, even give thanks for them. It seems hard nowadays, doesn’t it? How often do we actually think about the high and mighty as human beings? How can we challenge wrongdoing without casting those in power as beyond hope? We don't have to accept wrongdoing but perhaps we too easily give up on some powerful figures.

Something to do

When you are engaging with the news today, think about the assumptions you make about those in power. Reflect on the power you exercise - do you use your power wisely and fairly?

Something to pray

While remembering the powerful, pray this slightly adapted prayer of Alcuin of York (735-804CE).

Eternal light, shine into their hearts,

eternal goodness, deliver them from evil,

eternal power, be their support,

eternal wisdom, scatter the darkness of their ignorance,

eternal pity, have mercy upon them.

Adapted from a contribution by Charlotte Haines Lyon.