Summary: Paul’s instructions on prayer and worship. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com) Listen to audio of this sermon at: www.gcurley.info
(1). The Context: Prayer (v 1-3).
(2). The Motive: Salvation (verses 1-7).
(3). The Mind-set: Submission (verses 9-15).
• A story from Readers Digest:
• On the way to my parents’ house for dinner one evening,
• I glanced over at my fifteen year old daughter and said;
• “Isn’t that skirt a bit short?”
• She rolled her eyes at my comment and gave me one of those ‘oh mum’, looks.
• When we arrived, my mother greeted us at the door,
• She hugged my daughter, then turned to me and said;
• “Elizabeth! Don’t you think that blouse is awfully low-cut?”
• Well when it comes to clothes and styles and fashion,
• You can be sure we will all disagree and have many varied opinions.
• But when it comes to the importance of prayer in our lives;
• Then I am sure we all agree and share one opinion that it is very important!
• I know this chapter contains some controversial verses;
• But prayer is the main focus of our thoughts tonight;
• And our title for this sermon is ‘Prayers of all kinds’.
(1). The context: Prayer (v 1-3).
• A successful industrialist once addressed a large group of executives.
• He was speaking to them on the topic "Follow my leader",
• And he was encouraging them to be better leaders.
• Among the many helpful things he said was this statement;
"I have found that there are two things most difficult to get people to do..... first, to think..... second, to do things in their order of importance".
The apostle Paul gives us in chapter 2 verse 1 the Christians priority:
• "I urge then, FIRST of all that.....”
• You be a good preacher.
• You know your Bible inside out.
• You be a good listener & counsellor.
• You have good church attendance.
• You are active in evangelism.
• No! none of those things (they may be important – but he has a higher priority in mind)
• Listen to what he says:
• “That requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for...."
• In other words his priority is that YOU be a man or woman of prayer!
• The scope of who Paul asks us to pray for:
• Verse 1: “…all people” (some versions have: "...everyone", or "...all mankind").
• Don’t miss this expression it used 4 times in the first 6 verses.
• i.e. verse 1b: “…ALL people”.
• i.e. verse 2: "For kings and ALL those in authority".
• i.e. verse 4: "Who wants ALL men to be saved".
• i.e. verse 6: "Who gave himself a ransom for ALL men".
So don’t be like the man who prayed this prayer:
“God bless me and my wife,
My son and his wife,
Us four and no more.
Paul tells Timothy (and us) to pray broad, to include everyone!
• Our prayers are to be all-inclusive;
• They are to be given for everyone – especially those in authority;
• And not just for family members, close friends, or other Christians.
• So Paul’s priority is prayer.
• Now let’s look at his motive:
(2). The motive: Salvation (verses 1-7).
Question: Why does he encourage Timothy to pray:
• For "ALL mankind" (verse 2)
• For "All who are in authority" (verse 2).
• Well initially 2b tells us the answer;
• "That WE may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness".
• When we pray for those in authority there is a reward, there is a pay-off,
• Prayer is a bit like a boomerang – often, the blessing comes back to us!
• That’s the immediate motive.
• But notice verse 4 gives us the ultimate reason we are to pray:
• Because: "God wants all mankind to be saved".
• The key word here is "Wants".
• It is key because it reveals to us the desire in the heart of God.
• In the heart of God there is a longing, a craving, a yearning, an ache;
• God wants something to take place in the lives of people.
• And for that to happen it requires prayer from his people.
Question: What does God wants, desires, God longs to see?
Answer: That "ALL mankind" are saved, are made right with himself.
We see this truth again and again in the Bible:
• i.e. 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 18-19:
• "Through Christ God was reconciling the world (all mankind) to himself".
• i.e. John chapter 3 verse 16:
• "God so loved the world (All mankind) that he gave his one and only son".
• i.e. Jesus himself said in John chapter 12 verse 32;