Summary: the importance of lifting others up in prayer and encouraging others
Primary Purpose: To discuss the importance of lifting others up in prayer and
to encourage one another
Tradition tells us that Paul was freed from his first imprisonment that
the book of Acts ends with. He went back to Asia Minor and Greece and
was later re-arrested by the Romans. He was martyred around 66 to 67 a.d..
Chapter 4:6 makes it clear that to Paul his death was very close. Nero had
burned Rome on July 18, 63 a.d. and blamed it on the Christians. This started
an intense time of persecution for the Christians. Paul is writing this last
letter to encourage his son in the faith because difficult times lie ahead.
A man named William Ward once said “Flatter me, and i may not believe
you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive
you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.
It is amazing what a little word of encouragement can do. Marion Gilbert
tells a story of one day opening his door to get his morning paper. He was
surprised to see a little dog with the paper in his mouth. Delighted at this
surprise, he fed him some treats. The following morning he was horrified to
see the same dog sitting on his front porch, wagging his tail, surrounded by
eight newspapers. He spent the rest of the morning returning those papers.
This is what Timothy needed to hear from his beloved apostle and teacher
In light of what Paul says to Timothy, Timothy can make several “I am”
statements about himself. These are:
1. I am prayed for. For as long as Timothy lived, he knew he had the prayer
support of the apostle Paul. That this prayer was going on day and night. It
was a intercessory prayer motivated by his love for Timothy. Paul knew
Timothy was still young and many danger lie ahead. He can do nothing
greater for a person than to intercede for him or her.
2. I am equipped. v.6. Paul had evidentially had a service in which he had
laid hands on Timothy and appointed him for the task. God had given him the
gifts, talents and abilities he had. It is important to remember when the task
seems enormous that God equips those he calls. According to 2 Timothy
3:16-17 He equips us by his word for every good work.
It is up to us to work on improving our talents and abilities by seeking
to use them however the Lord directs.
3. I am not alone. Timothy may have felt very alone as adversity is now
coming on several fronts, the Romans and the Jews. He must remember that
God has placed within us His Holy Spirit. He has promised not to leave us or
forsake us. Heb 13:5b; Matt 28:20. Jesus promised to be with us even to the
end of the age. The word says that God is close to the brokenhearted and
saves those crushed in spirit Ps 34:18. I should take refuge in Him for He is
a shield to those who trust in Him Ps 9:9-10