I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

Since I last wrote one of these Bible thoughts, most of us in the U.K. have experienced a collective sense of bereavement. We knew that our Queen, who was 96, could not go on forever, and the signs of increasing frailty were clearly there to be seen. Still, it was hard to believe that she was  impermanent, even though we knew she had to be. Now we are living with shock and sadness, and we can’t believe she has gone. For many of us, she was always there.

In the days after her passing, I felt it important to leave aside our Corinthian devotions for a day and turn to 1 Timothy 2:1-7. When Paul says “first of all”  in verse 1, he is emphasising the priority of prayer in public worship, and in particular intercession for our leaders. He wants us to understand that God’s heart is for them to be saved, and that Jesus came into the world for this very purpose. He wants everyone to be saved, and this includes our leaders. Furthermore, these prayers can help to shape a culture in which the gospel can continue to be freely preached.

So at this time, I’m sure we recognise the need for renewed commitment to pray for our new King, Charles 111, and our new Prime Minister, Liz Truss – “and all those in authority”.

God save the King!