Summary: The early church placed a great priority on many types of prayer, but the ultimate end of those prayers were not merely for blessing the Church, but to bring the Lost to Christ.
GUIDELINES IN THE WORSHIP OF GOD
(Part One: The Importance and Priority of Prayer)
Dorn Ridge Church Of Christ May 19, 2013
Audio link to this sermon: http://chirb.it/FxLd9A
1.) As we have said before, Paul had written this epistle to Timothy as kind of a ministerial manual for him in ministering to the Church at Ephesus.
2.) Most of this second chapter deals with issues of worship, and what was to be done, or not done in the church.
A.) Though the entire chapter deals with many aspects of worship I am going to divide this into two messages.
aa.) Today, I want us to look at the significance the early church placed on prayer in worship.
ab.) Next week to I want to examine the second half of this topic and examine the roles of Men and Women in regards to worship and leadership.
I. THE CHURCH IS A PLACE WHERE PRAYER IS TO BE A PRIORITY.
1.) This is not necessarily the kind of prayer practiced in most churches today.
A.) Most Churches regardless of their religious affiliation will spend 3-5 minutes in the service to pray primarily for the sick and dying; beyond this might be perhaps a single minute of prayer time being devoted to the ministry of the church, and evangelization of the world.
B.) I am not completely sure what the worship service of the first century was like, but believe it would have been much different than what is being practiced in most churches including our own today.
2.) Prayer in the New Testament church seems to have been more concentrated, and probably considerably longer than 3-5 minutes of the worship service.
A.) In fact, I expect most Christians of the 21st. century would not be overly impressed by the worship service of the 1st century Church.
B.) Today’s churches are programmed and timed between 45 and 90 minutes in duration.
ba.) In the first century would have gone on quite regularly for several hours at a time.
bb.) The early church in their worship would have been conditioned quite closely by the pattern of worship in the Jewish temple and synagogues.
bc.) There would have been many things that carried over from the Jewish worship.
bd.) One thing that had remained in importance was the dedication of extended times of going to God in prayer during the worship service.
II. THE CHURCH IS TO BE A PLACE WHERE MANY TYPES OF PRAYERS ARE TO BE PRACTICED. [verse 1]
1.) We are to make requests.
A.) Certainly this would include, though not be limited to the type of prayers we usually make in the church for the welfare of the sick and dying.
2.) We are to make prayers.
A.) I was not clear on this second term, as to what the difference is in term.
B.) Having looked at the writings of John Calvin, Burton Coffman, Albert Barnes, and other commentators, I have concluded that this term used here for prayers is referring to the well wish prayers we make either for ourselves or others.
C.) It seems to be the kind of prayers where we are seeking and asking for some kind of a blessing from God.
3.) We are to have prayers of intercession.
A.) Certainly, this is a type of prayer the church needs to be making for the lost.
aa.) 1 Tim.2:3-4
ab.) Other than a person seeking God and a relationship with Him, there is no indication from Scripture that God hears the prayers of anyone who has not given their lives to Him.
aba.) Therefore, as Christians, we need to be praying for every area of that person’s life, that God would touch them, and bless them in the entire person of their being.
ac.) We need to be praying and interceding for the souls of the lost, that God would soften their hearts to the Gospel, and that he would put in their paths people who love them enough to tell them of their need for Jesus Christ.
ad.) Another area of intercession the church has a responsibility to engage in is prayer for Christians who have fallen into sin.
ada.) Whenever we see fellow Christians fall into sin, there is a need to both confront them with love, but also to be in prayer that God would restore their spiritual walk with Him.
adb.) We need to pray that they would forsake the sin that is separating them from an intimate fellowship with God.
adc.) We need to intercede for the person who has fallen into sin, because the consequences are severe for those who do not turn from sin, and turn back to Jesus Christ.
add.) Heb. 10:26-27
4.) We are to have thanksgiving for everyone.
A.) Certainly those of the church.