1 Timothy 2:1-7 Message 12
2. Conduct of the church 1 Timothy 2:1 – 3:16
a. The Prayer How are we to pray? 1 Timothy 2:1
1 Timothy 2:1-2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks,
Paul has instructed in how to pray. He then instructed them who to take before the throne of God in supplications, prayers, and intercession, with thanksgiving…
b. The People Who are we to pray for? 1 Timothy 2:1b, 2a
…be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority…
1). All men 1 Timothy 2:1b
Some people are easier to pray with thankfulness for than others, but we are commanded to be thankful in prayer for –
a). Those that love us.
Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
It is easy, a blessing to our souls to pray for and be a help to those who are likeminded and love the Lord! Even so, we are also to pray for –
b). Those that hate us –
The church faced adversity from early in the ministry of the gospel in Ephesus. Paul wrote of an attack he endured but we were not given the specifics.
1 Corinthians 15:32 (KJV) If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
The Lord did lead Luke to record the opposition in Ephesus from –
(1). The Jews
Acts 19:8-9 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
And also –
(2). The Gentiles
(a). Turned against the Christians –
Acts 19:23-41 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And the whole city was filled with confusion: – and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre. And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not. And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre…..
(b). Turned against the Jews who they associated with Christians –
The Jews tried to protect themselves, choosing Alexander to speak on their behalf, claiming they were not associated with Paul!
…..And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people. But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
The leaders of the city were afraid that the riot would cause the Romans to send soldiers and take control of the city, so the town clerk spoke to the people –
….we are in danger to be called in question for this day’s uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse. And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.
The church members would have remembered all of the evil acts committed against them by these people – would they want to pray for them?
Are there some people that are very difficult for you to pray for their good?
Paul commanded that the believers overcome their prejudices against those that opposed them and hold them up before the Lord in prayer, seeking their salvation.
The example of their most zealous persecutor becoming their greatest defender through salvation was seen in the transformation of Saul of Tarsus to Paul the Apostle.
He experienced in his life the truth that he wrote in his second letter to the Corinthian church –
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Paul knew the power of God that worked in his life could work in the lives of their enemies. They should be prayed for!
When those that hate you turn to the Lord for salvation, they become part of the beloved.
The Lord also commands us to pray for –
2). Authorities 1 Timothy 2:2a
“For kings, and for all that are in authority…”
Daniel 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
Romans 13:1-2 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
How can we pray for those governments that stand against God and His people? Know that God is keeping the account and He will repay. Therefore knowing the terror of the Lord, we should pray for them to be saved –
Psalm 37:37-38 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Notice the effect of the Lord’s admonition on the early churches, even when they were under extreme persecution from the Roman governments.
A well-known passage in the Apology of Tertullian, written about a century and a quarter after St. Paul sent his first letter to Timothy, shows how well and carefully this charge of the great teacher, written to the Church in Ephesus, was kept in distant Carthage:—”We Christians. . . . do intercede for all the emperors that their lives may be prolonged, their government be secured to them, that their families may be preserved in safety, their senates faithful to them, their armies brave, their people honest, and that the whole empire may be at peace, and for whatever other things are desired by the people or the Cæsar.”
These are things desired of citizens seeking the best for the neighbors and their nations.
A difficult question has been asked by God’s people from the time He established governments. What should I do if my government orders me to not obey God?
What if they command that I worship them or their god? You continue to worship God only!
What if they command that I cannot pray to God? You continue to pray!
What if they command that I cannot tell others the truth about God? You be a witness unto God!
The testimony of faithfulness to God is set forth clearly in His Word and we know what we must do because of His love for us and our love for Him –
Daniel 3:17-18 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Daniel 6:7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellers, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
Acts 4:18-20 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
We need to pray that we do not face opposition as they did, but if we do, be strong and of good courage – be faithful to God!
Trusting God in your prayer begins with trusting God for salvation. Have you turned to God in faith, believing His Son Jesus Christ died for your sins on the cross, that He was buried, and that He rose from the dead on the third day, satisfying the will of God and providing the way of salvation for all men, any that will call upon Him in faith.