Today you should read: 1 Timothy 2:1-15
In the book of 1 Timothy Paul is writing to Timothy. He comes out of chapter 1 setting up the purpose of this book: to help the church, both the people and the organization, live and function in Godly ways. They were facing numerous hardships from godless living, to false teachers, to perversion of doctrine. He is not just simply outlining church organization but addressing errors and wrong teaching that are already around.
Paul knew that nothing can be fixed without prayer. This is why he says “First of all, then…”. Prayer is the first step. He shows us three things about prayer:
HOW TO PRAY (v.1-2)
He uses four different words to describe our prayer. He uses “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings.” By using so many words to describe similar action Paul is trying to show us just how important prayer is to initiate any sort of change or Godly living. But he also made something else very clear. We are to pray for all people. Not just those we like, agree with, or are “for”… but for all. This honors and glorifies God and leads to godly life (v. 2b).
WHY TO PRAY (v.2-4)
First of all, Paul shows us that we pray because God is pleased by it. God WANTS to hear us pray. We must not neglect prayer. This is a huge truth that should minister to your soul. Also we pray because God desires all to come into knowledge of Him. He loves the world. We must pray for the world. Our prayers move the heart of God.
THE POWER TO PRAY (v. 5-7)
Paul knew that many would feel inadequate to pray for such change. So Paul takes a second to remind us of some facts…
- One God (v.5)
- One Mediator… Jesus Christ (v.5)
- Jesus died for us to be our substitute (v. 6)
- This is why we, along with Paul, pray and minister (v. 7)
There is power in prayer because Jesus paid the price for us. He paid the price for the world. He is our mediator. We don’t have to meditate for ourselves. We are free to pray bold prayers for the Jesus’ end because He has freed us up to!
PRAYER LEADS TO GODLY LIVING (v. 8-15)
This is one of the most misunderstood passages in the Bible. Here is what Paul is NOT saying:
- Men are better than women.
- Women can’t ever talk.
- Women don’t minister.
- Women can’t dress nice.
Paul was addressing three problems he saw… (1) the anger of men (2) the immodesty of women (3) marriages and the church not working as God intended.
Paul called men to pray and lead spiritual without anger. He knew that their relationship with God was at the root of their anger.
He called women to pursue worth from God over worth from others. Paul does not say that looking nice is bad. He is saying that godliness is way more. It does not fade. We should pursue it first and everything else second.
Paul calls men and women to work together as God intended. God made men and women different but with the same value (1 Peter 3:8). Same value… different role. He knew that you have your most value when you work how you were made to. Men and women were made to complement each other. Men were made to lead out in the family and the church in deep love (Eph. 5:22-23) not in dominance. Women were made to complement them in this.
Through all the confusion, one thing is clear: we must fix our hearts before we fix our hands. If we fix our actions without the intimate relationship with God that prayer brings it will be short lived. Prayer is an IV to Jesus in a way that brings real, lasting intimacy and change in our lives. Prayer brings growth in godliness when we engage in it as we should.
Take a few minutes and pray. Pray and thank Jesus for His sacrifice for you. Ask Him to show you where your life is out of alignment with His will. Ask Him for help in bringing it back in alignment with Him and His will.
By: Nick Parsons — Pastoral Ministry Associate: College