Summary: This is a verse by verse look at First Timothy chapter two.
(What you will find here are my notes from a Bible Study I am attending on 1 Timothy. I hope they will prove helpful. AMP – Amplified Bible. MSG – Message Bible. BBE – Bible in Basic English. The main text I am using is the New American Standard Version.)
PRAY FOR ALL PEOPLE
1 Ti 2:1 – First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
1 Ti 2:2 – for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
How should we pray? With:
a. “entreaties” – supplications KJV – petitions (specific requests) AMP
c. “petitions” – intercessions KJV – intercessions (prayers for others) AMP
d. “thanksgivings” – giving of thanks KJV – give praise BBE
“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.” MSG
Who should we pray for?
a. “kings” – rulers MSG
b. “all who are in authority” – all who are in [positions of] high authority AMP –
“that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life” – peaceable life KJV – calm and quiet life BBE
“dignity” – honesty KJV
The ministry of prayer is the most important service that the Church of Christ can engage in. Although God is all-powerful and all-knowing, he has chosen to let us help him change the world through our prayers. How this works is a mystery to us because of our limited understanding, but it is a reality.
Primarily we should pray for governmental leaders and those in positions of lesser authority under them so that we may lead tranquil (outwardly peaceful) and quiet (inwardly peaceful) lives. We should not do so primarily for our personal ease and enjoyment but so we can carry out our purpose in the world as Christians. Our purpose is to bring the message of reconciliation to all people and to glorify God in all our relationships.
We should pray for those in authority around the world so that their societies will be conducive to the spread of the Good News. Paul's command to pray for kings is remarkable considering that Nero, a notoriously cruel ruler, was emperor at this time (A.D. 54-68). When Paul wrote this letter, persecution was a growing threat to believers. Later, when Nero needed a scapegoat for the great fire that destroyed much of Rome in A.D. 64, he blamed the Roman Christians so as to take the focus off himself. Then persecution erupted throughout the Roman Empire. Not only were Christians denied certain privileges in society, some were even publicly butchered, burned, or fed to animals.
1 Ti 2:3 – This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
1 Ti 2:4 – who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
“acceptable” – pleasing BBE
“desires” – wishes AMP – wants MSG
God desires, wishes, wants – all people – all humans to be saved. God wants everyone to experience eternal salvation. People perish because they do not hear the gospel, or they choose to reject it. God has given people freedom to choose to accept or reject the gospel. When people reject the gospel, this causes God considerable pain. This is clear in the many references in Scripture to God sorrowing over the fate of those who choose to turn their backs on Him.