Monday, March 17, 2008

Back to Business; Prayer For All Men

Moving back into the swing of things we will now take a look at the beginning of Paul's second chapter in his first letter to Timothy. In this pericope Paul is teaching Timothy here to remember all things in his prayers, not just those things that seem enviable or close to him but all things in prayer. I often have heard people question the validity of praying for civil authorities and dignitaries but we will see that Paul expressly commands Timothy to lead prayers for these men as well. This has much to say in our day of political division and ideological causticity. So without further ado here is the first two verses of 1 Tim 2.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
Paul makes to me a fascinating statement here at the end of verse two concerning why it is we should pray for kings and all who are in authority. What does he say? He says, " that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." Wow! What a statement! Paul is calling for prayers on civil authority so that what? We can live in peace and solitude. Imagine that. Paul has such faith and trust in the power of prayer that he thinks if we pray for the authority we can be Christian without pagan intervention. Think on that for a second. Think what it would be like, since we have deluded ourselves into thinking we can live truly Christian lives in our pagan environment, to live in peace and tranquility. What does that look like for the Christian and why is Paul exhorting Timothy here to seek its finality in prayer? One of the first things that degrades in the Christian person after they have become complacent in their faith is an understanding of the supreme importance of prayer (I cannot stress that enough) in their cognitive daily routine. This is why Paul exhorts us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to rejoice to the Lord always, to pray without ceasing. It is because Paul understands the TRUE POWER OF PRAYER. This is one thing that certainly has been atrophied in our churches is this focus upon prayer and its purpose in the Christian life. So I ask you know. If Paul believed that peace for the Christian could come through prayer for civil authorities and for all men why do we not?

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