Prayer and Public Worship (1 Timothy 2:1-8)

Prayer is an essential element to the Christian life and to not spend time in prayer is detrimental to our walk. It is for this reason that the people of God are to be devoted to prayer (). Such devotion reveals our dependence upon God, which of course is necessary because we need His help. When we neglect prayer we are living a prideful life because we are not seeking His help in all that we do. Neglect of prayer is prideful and detrimental to our spiritual walk and to the influence of our church. God has determined that His purposes are accomplished by means, and one of those means is prayer. In addition to being a part of our private worship (), prayer is also to be a part of our public worship (). Prayer will be varied in its focus. One of these is prayer for the lost (; ; ; ). In , Paul provides the mandate and guidelines for public prayer for the lost.

The Priority of Public Prayer (a)
This section begins with the priority of public prayer. Paul urges thatprayer of all kinds (“supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings“) must “be made for all people” (). The reference to “all people” reveals that prayer is not to be limited to a certain group. Furthermore, particular prayer is to be made for “kings and all who are inhigh positions” (2:2a). God has appointed governing authorities () and we are obligated to pray for them. This will include the desire for their salvation and for wisdom in their leadership.

The public prayer in the church is not to be limited to internal matters (though they are essential to include), but it is to include evangelistic concern for the lost (cf. ).

The Purpose of Public Prayer (b-7)
The purpose of public prayer in the church is twofold. Firstly, it is for the benefit ofthe church. He says, “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (b). This refers to a peaceful condition in which we can live out the gospel freely (cf. ). Also, the purpose of public prayer is for the salvation of the lost. He adds, “this is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior” (). Public prayer for the lost is good and pleasing to the Lord because it is in line with the reason why Christ came into the world. It is God’s desire that “all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (). makes it clear that there is only one God. Sure, there may be millions of “gods” in the world today, and people may serve them with all sincerity. But there is only one true God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth (Is. 44:6). Because there is only one God, there is only one way of salvation, which is exclusively through Jesus Christ (; cf. ; ). He died at the appointed time in God’s plan so that He would ransom people of all kinds (). It was on the basis of these gospel truths that Paul was commissioned to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles (2:7).

The Practice of Public Prayer ()
Knowing that public evangelistic prayer is to take place in the church, how is it to be practiced? With apostolic authority (cf. ), Paul desired “that in every place (public worship meetings) the men should pray“. Unlike , the word here for “men” refers to a male. It is the Lord’s intention that the men lead the prayer in the corporate worship. However, not any man, but those who live a holy life (; cf. ; ).

Conclusion
If we desire to see our nation transformed, we need to pray. If we desire to see loved ones transformed, we need to pray. If we are going to be obedient to the Lord and effective as a church it is critical that we be a praying church. All of you can be a part of that. You can pray privately, you can attend prayer meetings with hearts desiring to seek God. And you can say “Amen!” to public prayers prayed at church. Let us be a people of prayer.

STUDY QUESTIONS:

  1. Is prayer to be a priority in the life of the Christian and church? See ; ; ; ; . Why does consistent prayer seem to be a challenge?

Read

  1. Verse one reveals various kinds of prayer. Using the ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) acrostic as an example, discuss the value of varied prayer.
  1. According to our passage, for whom should we be praying for and why? See 2:1-2.

Read

  1. What do teach us about God and the way of salvation?
  1. Some suggest that 2:4 teaches that all people will end up being saved (universalism). Why is this wrong?
  1. List some practical suggestions to help us be disciplined in prayer

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This 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. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.

43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This 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. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

This 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.

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.

Psalm 66:18

18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

17 pray without ceasing,

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

5:1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;

not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

Published by

Andrew Courtis

Andrew Courtis

ANDREW - Serves as Pastor of Hills Bible Church. I am married to Dianne and we have three children (Kate, Emma and Jack). I was born and raised in Melbourne, moved to Adelaide to undertake theological studies (BMin.), and have completed additional studies with the Australian College of Theology (MATh.). I have served in pastoral ministry in both Melbourne and Sydney and am a qualified school teacher. I am committed to expository preaching and making the word of God known and understood.