Increasingly we see turmoil, unrest and evil that impacts our world, our nation, our families, our friends.
Many times we feel overwhelmed and unprepared to engage this battle. The apostle Paul who experienced great trouble of his own, had this to say to young Timothy in one of his final letters.
“So, first and foremost, I urge God’s people to pray. They should make their requests, petitions, and thanksgivings on behalf of all humanity. Teach them to pray for kings (or anyone in high places for that matter) 2 Timothy 2:1-2
There were many weapons Paul could have instructed Timothy to use, but he instructs him to pray. No prayers to overcome, or for victory, or that the king or president would be removed. No, Paul instructs Timothy to make requests, to petition God on the behalf of all people (including kings and rulers and people, like them or not) and to do it with a heart of thanksgiving.
This was a difficult assignment in that day, especially living in the midst of persecution, and people who want to kill you, (think Nero) and it is difficult for us now.
Christians in our time are driven from their homes. murdered, raped, and thrown in prison. Persecution in the United States is increasing as society and culture alienates itself from traditional Judaeo-Christian values.
Paul experienced trouble and trails of a magnitude few ever have. We see these outlined in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28. In 2 Timothy 2:1-3 and as he awaits his death, Paul encourages Timothy, and believers yet to come to embrace truths, that help us to navigate the confusion, and warfare we face. He explains his strong exhortation to pray in 2 Timothy 2:2
So that we can lead quiet, peaceful lives—reverent, godly, and holy— all of which is good and acceptable before the eyes of God our Savior
And where does this peace begin?
Prayer: Paul tells Timothy to pray, to urge God’s people to pray. Over and over again in Scripture we are instructed to pray. Why? We connect with and find strength and direction from God through prayer. Through prayer God is magnified and problems are diminished. We see this principle in Philippians 4 where we are instructed to not be anxious but to “pray about everything” And we also find the promise that through these prayers, petitions, and thanksgiving, God will guard our troubled hearts and minds and bring
Peace: The peace in our lives that Paul speaks of is available regardless of turmoil that may be occurring in our lives, or in our world. Peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Peace that is not contingent on emotions or circumstances but in conviction and trust that tells us
*God is near
*Nothing can separate us from Him Romans 8:37-38. This leads us to
Worship: When we pray and live in peace, having confidence that God is in control, we refuse to worship the gods of fear, confusion and disorder. The prayer and peace that brings us to worship God causes us to focus on the heart of God and His plan. Our lives become a place of peace in the storms and people are drawn to us. We partner with God in His plan of
Salvation: This is the heart of God, “Who desires that everyone be saved and know the truth”
Prayer, peace, worship, salvation. We must never forget the mission to bring people, all who will come to the Savior.
Our mission begins with prayer!