“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
The first thing Paul tells Timothy to get his church to doing is to pray.
Pray for all people & pray for kings and all who are in high positions.
That we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
We are to be a praying people so that we can be quiet and peaceful and dignified and godly.
THEN – as if not to skip a beat – Paul goes on to say that living this way is good because God desires all people to be saved.
Let’s track with Paul here . . .
The church is to be a praying people – check (v.1).
The church is to pray for all people, including those in authority over us – check (v.2).
The church is to be a people who pray SO THAT we can live godly and dignified and quiet and peaceful lives – check (v.3).
The church that does this pleases God because God wants all people to be saved – check (v. 4).
What’s the connection? Is it just me, or does it seem like Paul is throwing out a bunch of stuff about a bunch of stuff?
Could it be that Paul is calling the church to be a praying church SO THAT God would allow them to be in a healthy environment that allows for not only sharing the Gospel, but also SHOWING the affects of the Gospel? Could it be that Paul is urging prayer for God to allow them to live in the world in which they live in such a way that they literally stand out as “lights” in a dark world?
This kind of praying reveals their burden. It reveals their desire. It reveals their dependency on God to allow them to do precisely what they are in the world to do – point others to Him by sharing and showing the Gospel.
Paul calls the pastor of the church in Ephesus to lead the people to pray. Why? So that the Gospel might go forth the way God intended – through His people who are enjoying the affects of the gospel in peaceful, quiet, dignified, and godly behavior.
Simply put, the purpose of a prayer meeting in Paul’s mind is for Gospel advancement. To break it down even simpler: Why pray? Gospel takeover throughout the land.
Could it be that prayer meetings in churches have become lifeless because we have removed the main reason for their existence?
What do YOU think?