1 Timothy Chapter 2 Message 9
1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
We have learned the importance of supplications as part of our communication with God.
Today we will learn why Paul exhorted Timothy to remember that prayer, every form of prayer, is foundational to our life in the Lord, to know and do His will. As mentioned before, we have been instructed in supplications, now we will learn of what we generally think of as –
2). Prayers – conversation
We should consider out need for prayer – God’s instruction and guidance.
In order to fulfil the purpose of God for His church, we note the instruction given to the priority of prayer
Acts 6:1-7 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Peter pointed out the Priority of prayer and preaching in the ministry.
Read again Acts 6:4
Will you put yourself in the position of these believers as Jesus told them what they were to do? They were to take the truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and preach it to every person in the world. Imagine this, that in the very beginning there were only one hundred and twenty of them. They were not people who had far reaching influence, as were kings or queens, leaders of multinational companies, respected lecturers in universities, or even leaders in their communities.
As a matter of fact – The religious leaders of their day commented about them –
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
These early believers knew that they needed help, and more help than they could give one another. They needed God’s help and they were desperate to have His help if they were to accomplish His work.
We need to understand that God saved them and us, by grace through faith, to work out His plan –
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Let’s look at the responsibility that they, and we, have received from the Lord when we were saved –
a). The Command given to the Apostles John 21:15-17
John 21:15-17 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Peter was commanded to take care of the Lord’s people. He was to love them as the Lord loves them and he was to teach them. What would you have replied to Jesus? “Lord, it is too much, I am not prepared to care for your people”.
Do you understand that this is exactly what Peter was saying to the Lord when he told the other disciples “I go fishing…”. Peter was saying that God wanted too much from him, he was a fisherman not a shepherd.
It is most important that we also understand that Jesus questioned Peter after Peter had told him by his actions that he could not do what the Lord wanted him to do. Jesus asked Peter if he loved the catching of fish more than he loved Jesus. You see, we will do what we love to do. We will give ourselves over to do that which we love most – we will make the way, we will overcome obstacles, we will press on through trouble to do what we love to do.
The question Jesus posed to Peter was simple, “Lovest thou me more than these”. This is our question today. Who is it, what is it that we love most?
You love Him? Great! Telling the Lord that we love Him most and we will do what He wants us to do and submitting to Him still leaves us with this question “Lord, how do I do your will? I do not have the power in myself to do it.”
This morning, look back over these paragraphs and discuss what has taken place.
Have you noticed how much communication is involved (God’s commands, our responses) in all of this? This is called ‘Prayer’.
We saw the command given to the Apostles. We also see the need for God working through us in –
b). The Commission given to the church.
Mark 16:15 “Go ye into all the world and preach…”
Can you imagine what these men and women thought when they heard the command of the Lord? “But Lord, I am and ordinary person from a small town and have never been more than 100 kilometers from home. Please do not ask me to do this! The Lord’s answer is something like this “I have already commanded you to obey me.”
Remember the words of the Lord Jesus “If you love me, keep my commandments”.
We, the members of the church, should be excited about obeying the Lord and reaching out to the world with the Gospel, taking them the truth, the saving knowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ has given Himself for them, and offers salvation to all who will come to Him in faith. We should be looking unto the Lord as the servants looked to their masters in –
Psalm 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
We should desire that the Lord motion to us with His hand, call us to perform a service for him. The delight to be used is a great mercy He bestows upon us. Just as one of these servants understands that any service is given under the authority and in the power of their master, we understand that any service we are able to give unto God is done through His authority and in His power. We need Him and we need to communicate with Him that we might understand His will and how we are to perform it.
We also see the necessity of prayer in –
c). The Commencement and carrying out of the ministry.
No one can stop the command nor can they change the command. No one has the power to say that this command is for someone else! When the Lord gave this command He made sure that we would understand this fact – “…all power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth, go ye therefore…”. John wrote down these words of Jesus – “…as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
We have already looked into Paul’s command to Timothy to seek God first of all in ‘supplications’ and we can understand why this is the beginning of prayer. When we truly know the magnitude of the work of God, we realize how small we are, yet we know that God still expects us to complete the work. When we get to this point in our life, we will cry unto the Lord “I cannot do it, I am not enough”! Then it is that we hear from God, that He reassures us that He will make us able to do what He wants us to do. This is what the apostle Paul realized and he shared his heart with us to encourage us –
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
With supplications and prayers we can grow in faith through the grace of God and view each day with trust in the Lord that He will work through us for His honour and glory –
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
My life should be directed by Him!
All service to God is to be preceded and direction sought through prayer!
Has God been speaking to you today through His Word about your prayer life? If we are not praying as Paul commanded Timothy to pray, is it possible that we are not trying to do what God wants us to do? I know that I cannot do His work without His help. As we said last week, Jesus told us very clearly –
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Do you know without any doubt today that you are saved, that you have turned to God, agreeing with Him that you are a sinner and need to be saved, that there is only one way to be saved and that is by faith in God through His Son – believing that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again from the dead.
If you are not saved, will you call upon Him for salvation today?
If you are saved, are you obeying God? We call Him Lord Jesus Christ. The word ‘Lord’ means that He is our Master and we are His servants. Are you serving Him today?
Unless you are His, you cannot live with Him, you cannot live for Him!
If you are saved and serving, are you praying making supplications to Him and praying for direction from Him? If you are not, then the fact is that you are not serious about obeying God. We have said this before – If serving Him is easy enough for you to do on your own, you are not taking your service seriously.
Begin doing what God wants you to do and you will begin praying!