“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.” 1 Timothy 2:1-7
1. Prayer is of utmost importance. (vv.1, 3)
A praying life is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior (v.3)
2. The prerequisite for prayer is acknowledgment of our need.
“To pray is nothing more involved than to let Jesus into our needs, and permitting Him to exercise His own power in dealing with them. And that requires no strength. It is only a question of our wills.” Ole Hallesby
“The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy….Jesus is without question the most dependent human who ever lived. He is inviting us into his life of a living dependence on his heavenly Father. He is telling us to realize, like him, we don't have the resources to do life. When you know that you, like Jesus, can’t do life on your own, then prayer makes complete sense.” Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life
3. The point of hope and rejoicing: there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for our sin. (vv.5-6)
Westminster Larger Catechism
Q 180: What is it to pray in the name of Christ?
A: To pray in the name of Christ is, in obedience to his command, and in confidence on his promises, to ask mercy for his sake; not by bare mentioning of his name, but by drawing our encouragement to pray, and our boldness, strength, and hope of acceptance in prayer, from Christ and his mediation.
“The knowledge of God’s goodness will not be held very important, unless it makes us rely on the goodness…therefore our mind must be otherwise illumined and strengthened that the Word of God may obtain full faith among us. Now we possess a right definition of faith if we call it a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us founded upon the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, p. 551
4. We are to pray for earthly rulers and all in high positions (that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified). (v.5)
5. Thanksgiving is a key component to prayer.
A thankful heart is constantly giving grace to others because it is overwhelmed by the grace received. A thankful heart is keenly aware of the tender, daily mercies of the Father.
6. We should have a focus in our prayer that all types of people would be saved and walk in the truth.
As we pray for the sick, needy, hurting and those suffering, we must not forget that our ultimate aim is that they experience saving faith in Jesus.
1. Why is a believer’s brokenness/helplessness essential in the life of prayer?
How can “giftedness” or perceived privilege work against a life of prayer? (Note: the example of Achan in Ai - see Joshua 7)
2. According to the quote from Calvin, what must be firmly acknowledged as we pray and live the Christian life?
3. What do you think of the daily prayer (5:5:5)?
4. Why do we pray “in Jesus name”? (See the Westminster Larger Catechism, Question 180)
5. For whose salvation are you praying?