1 Tim. 2:1-4 CHRIST-LIKE PRAYING IN A PAGAN WORLD
Intro: 1st Timothy is the first of three letters written by
Paul to young preachers. These letters, called the Pastoral Epistles, are Pauls
attempt at instructing and encouraging these young men of God. In these letters, we can
find a great amount of material related to behavior in the church and also governing
worship. Paul felt compelled to write these letters because Timothy and Titus were serving
the Lord in a society that was very secular and openly opposed to the preaching of
salvation through Jesus Christ and the lifestyle of separation and holiness that
accompanies that salvation. He gives these young men some rules of thumb by which they can
operate their ministries.
It seems to me that we live in a society that is growing more and more
anti-Christian by the day. A society, which declares right wrong and wrong right. America
is no longer a Christian nation, but has become a pagan nation where men live as if God
were dead or irrelevant. We can complain all we want to about the situation we are in here
in America, but this is where we are, and we have been placed here by the providence of
Almighty God. As a result, we need to know how to live for God in a pagan world.
I wish I had all the answers as to how we are to live every area of our
lives. Though some men think they have all these things figured out, none of us do.
However, Paul, in these verses, does deal with one area where we can all impact America.
An area of Christian activity that has the power to change society and demonstrate Christ
to a lost world. I am talking about the area of prayer. Tonight, I want us to consider
together the matter of Christ-like praying in a pagan world. Notice three important
divisions in these verses.
I. v.1-2 GODS DEMAND
A. v.1a The Elevation Of Prayer Ill. "First of all"
Literally, First in order, rank and importance. Paul tells us that our first
priority in the church is that of prayer. (Ill. The decline of the importance of prayer in
recent years.) It seems that we have time for every pursuit and activity, except that
which is deemed most important. Prayer is often the step-child of the church!
Ill. The power of prayer
1. Jer. 33:3 God has promised to hear prayer.
2. John 16:23 God has promised to answer prayer.
3. Heb. 4:16 Prayer is the privilege and power of every saint. No one stands higher
than you in the area of prayer!
4. Prayer needs to be exalted in our churches more than ever!
B. v. 1b The Elements Of Prayer Paul lists four elements that
ought to be included in our praying. They are:
1. Supplications Making requests. Sharing our felt needs with God
2. Prayers This word refers to the act of worship that should accompany
prayer. When we pray, we are literally in the presence of God. Therefore, we are to pray
in reverence. (Ill. Preacher who refers to Jesus as "J.C.")
3. Intercessions This word means To fall in with." It refers
to Christians taking the needs of others before the Lord. Our praying should not be
4. Giving Of Thanks When we draw near to God in prayer, our hearts should
be filled with gratitude for all He is, all He has done, all He is doing and all He will
do. Thanksgiving should not be tacked on to the end of our praying, but it should be a
major ingredient in every prayer we pray, Eph. 5:18.
C. v.1c-2a The Extent Of Prayer We are to pray for "all
men." This tells us that there is no one on the face of the earth that should not be
prayed for. And that there is no man beyond the influence of godly praying. (Ill. Kings
and those in authority. Ill. The leadership in Pauls day Nero!) Now, more
than ever, Christians need to pray for our leaders! We do not have to agree with them, but
we should pray for them!) (Ill. Christian love and grace should prevail in all that we
D. v. 2b The Ends Of Prayer When we pray as we should, the product
will be a quietness externally and peacefulness internally. This should produce in us
lives of godliness and purity. Ill. Our praying ought to be for ourselves that we do not
damage the testimony of Christ by low living!
II. v. 3 GODS DELIGHT
A. When we pray after this manner, it pleases the Lord and is a good thing in His
B. God is honored when His people pray, as they should. It reveals faith on our part
and it affords God an opportunity to demonstrate His power. (Ill. Daniel Dan. 6)
C. God is more honored by our prayers than He is by our protests. (Ill. Often,
protesters display an openly anti-Christian attitude!)
D. Christians pray because they want to please the Lord who saved them from sin! That
pleases the Lord.
III. v.4 GODS DESIRE
A. Gods ultimate desire is to see all men saved! (Ill. 2 Pet. 3:9)
B. His means of reaching those He wants to save are those He has already saved. The
world is more likely to respond to Christians who love them and pray for them that they
are to Christians who attack them and consign them all to Hell.
C. We are to hate sin, but always love the sinner. That is what Jesus did Matt.
11:19. We love them best by praying for them and lovingly sharing Christ with them.
Conc: These are perilous times for the church of Jesus Christ. Many in
our society would love to see all Christians removed from the world. That too will happen!
However, while we are still here, we are called upon to love the sinner and to pray for
our society. Of all the weapons we have at our disposal, prayer is the most effective in
changing the world around us. My challenge to you is that you become an effective prayer
warrior for the Lord Jesus Christ James 5:16.