Dr. Ronald Bernier
April, 2017

There are many battles that we fight. Many of them are designed to get us off of the real battle. At first glance, 1 Timothy 2:1-4 may look like it conflicts with a battlefield image of prayer. Paul wants us to pray for kings and for all who are in high positions "that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way" (1 Tim. 2:2). Now that might sound very peaceful and tranquil. But read on. The reason for praying this way is very strategic: "This [praying for peace] is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3-4

God's aim is that people from every tribe, tongue, and nation are saved. But one of the great obstacles to victory is the distraction when people are swept up into social, political, and militaristic conflicts that draw away their attention, time, creativity and resources from the real battle of the universe. What our enemy is after is that no one is saved or comes to the knowledge of the truth. His key strategies are to start battles that draw our attention from the real battle, the salvation of the lost, the perseverance of the saints, the training of leaders and the advancement of the kingdom.

You see, the real battle is not against flesh and blood. But, the more conflicts start to draw away attention from the real battle may cause us to use resources in the wrong direction. So, when Paul tells us to pray for peace, he does so because it is God's desire that all men are saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Paul is picturing a strategic appeal in our prayers, to ask the Commander of our army to release His firepower, so that He may remove the decoy conflicts of flesh and blood and give us the true victory in the real way, redeeming people for His kingdom.

In the last several years, many of our front-line kingdom workers in Eastern Europe have been pressed with great stresses.  I am impressed by their resolve to continue the mission assigned to them by the Lord and in association with MTEE.  Inflation alone, because of the complexities of war, have caused a great hardship on individuals, families, pastors, teachers and leaders in a most dramatic way.  Even in the midst of this great difficulty, there remains a great door of opportunity before us.  Many of the leaders we have had the opportunity to train can now be used as missionaries and teachers to other nations, even in the USA, Canada and Brazil among Slavic speaking populations.  Working on this joint project may enable us to help fund back to these difficult economic areas the necessary funds to keep advancing the call.

One pastor recently contacted me about the possibility of planting churches in Poland, where many Ukrainians are migrating.  We have an open door of communication among leaders in Bulgaria to develop Leadership Training Programs among their churches.  For these opportunities also comes the need for supply to fund these initiatives. 

In America we have our own diversions that can cause us to lose focus on the strategic mission we are part of and the important role it has in the advancement of the kingdom.  God is able to supply all we need as we pray to Him for His provision.  While He calls on us to pray strategically and with faith, He also speaks to our own hearts in how we can sacrificially add to the supply.

This is the true reason to pray for peace; so that our eyes are not diverted to the decoys of the enemy. Instead we must settle the issues between ourselves and engage in the real cosmic battle for the hearts and souls from every tribe, tongue, peoples and nations.  This remains our focus: “Training nationals to transform nations”.  Can you join us?  Will you commit to pray for peace?  Can you also consider how you might invest in this great work?  This is not time to retreat.  Instead, let us pray for open doors and a powerful word, witness and resource to go through those doors.