1 Timothy 2:1-7 ~ "God's Desire for Prayer"
I was so blessed on Wednesday evening by the response to the Pastor’s call for prayer for our church. To see every table filled, and another table needed plus more chairs put out, that was wonderful. To hear the room buzzing with the prayers of many people lifting up our praise to God, and interceding for the needs of our country, of our community, of this church and of one another was a blessing.
The Bible says that the prayers of God’s people rise like incense before the throne of God.
Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
It led me to think about the prayers of God’s people over the last 119 years since a group of people prayed to establish First Baptist Church here in Kamloops.
It led me to think of the Consultation we did 3 years ago, when we decided that our greatest need was for more young families. While we were doing that Bridge Baptist was deciding that their greatest need was for a building, which led our congregations to merge together almost two years ago so that we could be one body lifting up our prayers to God.
And this is in accord with God’s desire for prayer expressed here in 1 Timothy 2: 1 - 7 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle — I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying — a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”
After urging Timothy to discipline and silence those who would teach any other doctrine, Paul now turns to positive injunctions.
- The Importance of Prayer
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks
When we think of prayer, we might think of personal prayer, family prayer, group prayer and pastoral prayer all with thankfulness. This Paul says is of first importance. God desires our prayer more than we desire to pray
We might ask ourselves if we feel that prayer is of first importance.
- What or who should we pray for?
~Pray “for all men, Jesus commanded us to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” so here he urges us to pray for all people. We are to look beyond ourselves and join God in interceding for people beyond our own borders.
~For kings and all who are in authority,
The kings at this time were heathens, enemies to Christianity, and persecutors of Christians, . It included wicked Nero who put Paul to death, yet Paul urges prayer for them, because it is for the public good that there should be civil government, and proper persons entrusted with the administration of it, I was glad that our pastor on Wednesday night, asked us to pray for our Prime Minister, our premier and our government.
We are living in a day when we see those in authority becoming more and more hostile toward real Christianity. Just this week, a Christian couple in Alberta who had already been approved for the adoption of a child were called back in and asked more questions about their religious beliefs about gender and sexual identity, and informed that if they did not change their views to conform to the beliefs of Child and Family Services, their application for the adoption would be denied. They answered as honestly as they could that they would guide the child to seek counseling if he was confused sexually and for that they were denied. They are appealing based on the fact that they were discriminated against based on their religious beliefs.
Dear ones, we can expect more and more discrimination in our present age.
We smile when we hear Tevye in Fiddler on the roof ask the rabbi, “Rabbi, do you have a blessing for the tsar? The rabbi responds: “A blessing for the tsar?” “Of course . . . May God bless and keep the tsar . . . far away from us!”
- Why pray for those in authority over us?
“that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
This bears remarkable similarity to Romans 13: 1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Yet the disciples suffered persecution and even death from those authorities for who they prayed.
- that quiet and godly life pleases God
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
We remember that our Saviour was no stranger to suffering at the hand of the authorities, “he was oppressed and He was afflicted yet he opened not his mouth,” (Isaiah 53:7)
Why pray for all people? Why live a quiet and godly life?
- Because God has a larger purpose
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Now here is a verse that may challenge your thinking: If God desires all to be saved than why are not all saved?
There are many things that God desires which He does not cause to take place. It is God’s wish that the oppressed should go free, yet there are many oppressed who are not free. It is God’s wish that the sick should not suffer. And yet the Lord does not work a miracle to heal every sick person. It is God’s wish that his creatures should be happy, yet he does not exercise His omnipotence to make them all happy.
So God desires all people to be saved, but we know that are multiplied millions of people who are not saved, and who will spend eternity in hell.
God desires that all will be saved, and we too desire and pray that many will be saved.
Does this mean that God desires everyone in this room to be saved? I believe that the answer is yes, and He has brought you here to First Baptist Church where you hear the true word of God.
So let me ask each person: Are you saved? If not, why not? Could you possibly say that it is because God does not choose to save you?
Will all Christians pray just now that someone will be saved here this morning?
Now here is a problem. God will not save any person unless you acknowledge your sin and ask Christ to save you. Will He save you if you confess your sin and commit your life into His care? He promises to do so.
He says: John 6:37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”
Ephesians 2:5 “even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,”
This is God’s Word. Do you believe God’s Word?
This is what He means when He desires that you come to the knowledge of the truth.
Perhaps there is someone here who has heard the truth, but you have been careless about it, If you had enough to eat and to drink you were satisfied. If you saved a little money you were delighted. As long as the days passed pretty merrily, and you were free from aches and pains, you felt that you were in good shape. You have heard about salvation, but he thought it did not concern you.
But now I want you to hear the truth: “he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed on the Son of God.” Do you hear that? That is the truth. “God is angry with the wicked every day”
You’ve heard that God desires that you be saved but He hates sin. Sin is standing between you and God. You have heard, haven’t you that after death there will be a judgment, that you will rise again, and that you will have to stand before the judgment seat of God to give an account of the things which you have done in the body.
Oh, if anyone really hears this truth who does not know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord he or she should be greatly alarmed. By now you should realize that being a nice person will not save you, that going to church will not save you, that doing all kinds of good works will not save you. If the word of God is true then you should be aware that you are lost, and separated from God. What will you do? If you cannot save yourself, then surely you need someone with the qualifications and the ability to save you.
Is there such a one? Oh, yes, dear friend there is such a one and his name is Jesus.
- There is a mediator.
Listen again to the Word of God.
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
God has supplied a go-between, one who is able to stand between you and God, and satisfy God’s holiness on your behalf.
I can’t do that for you, the church can’t do that for you, no priest can do that for you. Mary, who is called the mother of God cannot do that for you.
Only one who is both God and man can mediate for you in the presence of a holy God. And He has already done all that is necessary.
A mediator supposes a controversy. Sin had made a quarrel between us and God; Jesus Christ is God’s appointed Mediator who undertakes to make peace, to bring God and man together, in the nature of an umpire or arbitrator, a days-man who lays his hand upon us both,
There is one Mediator, and that mediator gave himself a ransom for all. He paid a price sufficient for the salvation of all mankind; He gave His life. He shed His blood that your sins might be covered, and that you might be accepted into the presence of God as one who is pardoned, one who is completely forgiven. The death of Christ was a ransom, a counter-price. We deserved to have died. Christ died for us, to save us from death and hell.
He gave himself a ransom voluntarily, a ransom for all; He calls you to trust Him alone, to trust Him fully to trust Him without reservation.
And that is why the apostle Paul bears witness:
to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle — I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying — a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”
And that is why God calls us to pray for all men.
Dear ones, this is the word of God. May every person in this room rejoice in the salvation that God has purchased for us in the blood of His Son. There is no other.
The book of 1st Timothy is a Pastoral Epistle (letter from Paul to a church leader). It was written to give encouragement and leadership guidelines to a young pastor named Timothy, Paul's "true child in the faith" at the church in Ephesus.