The Holy Bible (The Message – 1 Timothy 2:1-6): The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we've learned: that there's one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out.
Thoughts: Like me, you may have thought that prayer is personal communication with God, so it is up to us what we talk to God about, right? While that may be a true statement, I believe that we must also be obedient to God's Word. So when He instructed Paul to include his instructions to Timothy on how to pray for, and with, the churches that were organized, I believe that God wanted us to also take the same lead. While I believe that The Message does a great job of relaying these instructions simply and understandably, there are a few points that I would like to remind myself about, hoping that you also might be enriched by the Word of God today:
- Pray in every way you know how, for everyone you know – friends we must be careful that our prayers are deeper than just responding to a prayer request by a friend by quickly responding that we will pray for them. Way too often that's the extent of our prayer for them. Furthermore, if a non-believer asks for prayer, we must remember that their most important prayer need is salvation. Perhaps the need they are asking you to pray about will lead them to knowing the God that they are asking us to pray to, on their behalf. God works in mysterious ways, so He will hear our prayer and work out His plan in the lives of those we earnestly pray for, according to His perfect will. Our role is to pray;
- Pray for rulers and their governments – friends, I believe that we spend way too much time in opposition to God's desire for our government leaders. How? God never tells us to whine, complain, or bad-mouth our government leaders. Instead, in Romans He tells us that governments are ordained by Him, and their work will be a part of Him fulfilling His will for the people served by these leaders. God wants us to live humble, peaceful, prayerful lives imitating Him in every way possible. Our government leaders must know that Christians are praying for them so that they may properly lead us as Christ would have them do. This will not happen if they think or imagine that we are beating up on them at every opportunity. Please don't get me wrong, there is a lot of corruption and greed in government, but I don't believe we could find scripture to support that it's our job, as Christians, to tear down and destroy governments who do this. Yes, we have the privilege to vote on whether we feel led by God to decline voting for ones we feel are not properly performing, but when they are elected, according to our prayers, it is not our job to step in and evoke, or recall those prayers and constantly be a thorn in the side of the politicians and/or God's work through our political system. God really don't need any help from us!
- Pray for ourselves to be a channel that can be used by God to reach the unsaved – The latter part of this scripture relays what was on Paul's heart, and again I believe that he was a mere messenger speaking the words from our Savior. God's work and His heart is all about seeing the lost come to know Him as their personal Savior before it is eternally too late. In my opinion, this leaves an onus to constantly pray that we will be worthy vessels that God can use to extend His reach to our family, friends and other circles. We can only do our part of being used by God, for we can save no one. Let us therefore be in a constant cleaning mode and polishing our relationship with the Lord so that we might be attuned to His will and desire for us, and be usable vessels for Him to use.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the privilege of prayer! Thank You that we can pray to our Father who has time to acutely listen to us, and not distracted by the things of this world that plays such a distraction in our lives. Lord, You've given us direction on how to pray, and what we should be focusing on in our prayers. Yes, I am guilty of bogging down my prayer life with all the sickness and other depressing things that constantly bombard my life, but Lord I believe You are telling me today that although my concerns are important to You, there is direction given in Your Word as to how and what I should primarily pray for. Please help me to keep this foremost in my mind every day, so that I may pray in accordance with Your will and for Your sake, knowing that as Your people are touched by You, their lives will be capable of achieving Your perfect will. You are God, and we are not, so help us Lord to place full control in Your hands, as we stick to the will of the Father and pray as instructed in His Word. Bless us this day oh Lord so that we may pray aright and live like You, for I ask this in the all-powerful name of Jesus, my Savior, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day's devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!