Summary: Who are we to pray for? Why are we to pray? How are we to pray? These are three questions that we must answer if we are going to make a difference for the kingdom of God.
Sermon Title: The Priority of Prayer
Sermon Text: 1 Timothy 2:1-8
Sunday Evening, July 2, 2000
Scripture Introduction: 1 Timothy 2:1-8
Before we begin this evening let’s take a look at what the purpose of this letter by Paul to his beloved Timothy was. Timothy was a favorite pupil of Paul. Anyone who has any experience with teaching knows, and by that I mean two things. First, there are those that have been gifted by God with the ability to lovingly instruct those that are not even flesh and blood. Secondly there are those who have been fortunate enough to have had such wonderful instructors in their lives, it becomes difficult to let go. Sometimes the most difficult part of a teacher’s job is to let the student go and make their way in the world. Paul was anxious in this letter to Timothy.
Timothy had accompanied Paul for many years and was his liaison to many churches. Paul taught Timothy the essentials of Christianity and was his model of Christian leadership. Paul was now handing over the leadership of the church at Ephesus. This letter written by Paul from Macedonia was meant to encourage his son in the faith. This letter is Timothy’s commission; this letter was Paul’s orders as a concerned teacher.
Please join me in the reading of God’s Holy Scripture!
Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-8 [NASB 95]
1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 8 Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.
Each and every day that we listen to the news, whether it be on the radio or on the nightly news on the television, we are just inundated with things that depress us. It depresses some to the point of giving up. What are the things that make the headlines of today? We have the leaders of other nations oppressing the people whom they were appointed or even self-appointed to lead. There are wars, famines, and widespread disease on every single corner of the earth. We hear about the murders, rapes and drug dealings on our city streets, and I may remind you that it is no longer in the alleys in the cover of darkness. We read and hear about the high cost of medicine and health care.
We see the elderly living with such a small amount of money available that they are becoming homeless in alarming numbers, they are doing without heat in the winter and cooling in the summer. They cut corners on the medication that they need to live healthier, productive, and longer lives. Some have been reduced to buying dog and cat food at the grocery stores. Is this what we have to look forward to?
We have our nation’s President doing things that are directly against the commandments that God gave Moses. Imagine that the office of President of a nation that was founded on many Christian principles. What happened to the different nations in the Old Testament went they blatantly opposed the commands of our God Almighty? Is the mass destruction and total ruination that they experienced the same fate that we have to look forward to?
The quality of life that the wildly, ever-increasing technology boom has pledged to improve has declined with every new product that claims to make our life better and easier. Our quality of life has been in a steady decline for a great many years, some say that the Second World War and the need for women to work caused the decline. Yes, it is without a doubt that when the family unit that God has ordained was dismembered and it continues on to this day, this has had a tremendous impact on our quality of living. But, I think we could probably trace the decline to the Garden of Eden - Amen?
We have single parent families on the increase and it is not caused by death or divorce, in many times it is by choice. The only two parent homes that seem to be on the rise are those with same sex parents. This obviously goes against what the Bible teaches but the school system teaches our kids the need to be tolerant. They are of course not tolerant of our stand to obey God’s commandments. Is this the world that we have to live in?