Urging Prayer–First of All

20. January 2012 1 Timothy 0

Text: 1 Timothy 2:1-8
Theme: The motivation and method of pleasing prayer.
Key verses: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone…that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved…” (v. 1-4a) “I was appointed a herald and an apostle…and a teacher…to the Gentiles. I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing” (v. 7-8)
What God said to me: How should you pray? With requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving. Why should you pray? That you may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. Why should you pray like that? Because “this is good and pleases” me. Why should you listen to Paul’s urging? He was speaking with authority and vision, wanting all men to lift up holy hands. That was Paul’s greatest desire–that all men would come to know me in my fullness and eternal life. And Paul’s ultimate vision for these saved men was that they be in fervent, vertical prayer to his God. Prayer mattered to Paul. Prayer matters to me. Why aren’t you doing more praying then, Dwayne?
What I said to God: Holy Father, you are the God who sees and knows all. You know I’ve avoided talking with You the past several hours. Why do I seem set on putting my life on cruise control even for a day or an hour? Sin. Rebellion. Selfishness. Sin. Please forgive me of my sinful actions and thoughts, and for ignoring You and not praying to You. May my vision–and passion for that vision–be as Paul’s: to see all men be saved and then join in the holy act of pleasing prayer. What a peaceful and awesome sight that would be!