When we accept Christ as Savior, we become part of a family, the body of Christ. We are adopted sons or daughters of God. As part of the family of God, we have a responsibility to love and care for each other. We also have a responsibility to pray for each other. Ephesians 6:18 begins by telling us that we should pray in the Spirit at all times. It goes on to say that we need to stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for other believers throughout the world. We need to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
But, our prayers should not be just for fellow believers. In his first letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul urged that we pray for all people (1 Timothy 2:1). Not just for our brothers and sisters in Christ, not just for our earthly families, and not just for our friends. We need to pray all people, for everyone. That means that we are to pray for those who may have hurt us, those who have may have offended or even persecuted us. It means praying for our enemies.
Praying for all people means praying for those with whom we do not agree. It means praying for people of all walks of life, of all beliefs, of all nations. It also means praying for those who seek to do evil in this world, for violent dictators, for terrorists, for sinners. It means praying for those whose lifestyle goes against the Word of God. When we pray for all of these people, we are to ask God to help them, we are to intercede for them.
In 1 Timothy 2:2, Paul continues by singling out a particular group of people that we need to pray for, for kings and all other people in authority. There are leaders in the world who seek to do harm to others. We need to pray for them. There are leaders in our own country we may dislike, from the president of our nation down to the mayors of the cities in which we live. No matter how we feel about those in authority, we must still pray for them, as well.
Praying for all people, praying for those in authority, is something that, as believers, should do. We should pray for their salvation and that they will come to know and understand our heavenly Father. We should do this not just because it is our responsibility as believers, but also because we want to please God. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 1:3 that, when we pray for all people, especially for people in authority, it is good and pleasing to God. It pleases Him because He desires that everyone be saved and that everyone will come to know and understand the truth.