WORSHIP SERIES

 

1Timothy 2:1-8

# 6 - WORSHIP IN PUBLIC PRAYER

 

(Lead in Prayer)

I just prayed.

What were you thinking about as I prayed?

Chances are you weren’t thinking about what I was praying and chances are you were not praying along with me.

Most of us, and I’ve been guilty of this all too often, leave the praying in a worship service up to the person praying.  We just let ourselves be distracted with our own interests, worries and pleasures.

 

Now I’m not here to ball you out, to scold you, or to embarrass you.  But one of the most important things we have as born again Christians is the gift of answered prayer. Matthew 7:7-8

 

And one of the most important things that we are told to do as Christians is to pray! Ephesians 6:18

 

When we think of prayer, we think of it as a private matter between us and God.  Indeed that is true for our personal prayers.  When we are talking to God privately, we are to be private about it!

Matthew 6:6

  

Our text is 1Timothy 2:1-8. It is in this text that we receive instruction for public prayer.

 

THE PRACTICE OF PUBLIC PRAYER

1 Timothy 2:1 - I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

 

Paul is urging us to pray as a group.  Did I say Paul is urging us to pray? This is Scripture. This is God’s Word. God is urging us to pray! 

   

And notice the priority of prayer.

Paul says, “first of all”.

How often in our services is prayer a brief tag line?

How absent mindedly and lightly do we treat prayer!

Paul says, “first of all”.

 

The early church was built on prayer. Acts 2:42

 

Have you ever wondered why more people don’t come to church?

Have you wondered why more people don’t get saved?

Have you wondered why more people to not respond to the invitation?   

Could it be because our lack of real prayer at home?

And could it be because of our lack of real prayer in the church?

 

What should you do when an usher prays for the offering?

You should pray with him, agreeing with him in prayer.

 

What should you do when the pastor prays?

You should pray with him, giving your “amens” and “yes Lords” quietly. They can even be out loud.

 

Has it ever occurred to you that God does not move in this church the way we would like him to because we are not united in our prayers for God to work?

Don’t get me wrong, God does answer individual prayers.

But how much more will God do when we unite, agreeing in corporate prayer!

 

THE PRACTICE OF PUBLIC PRAYER

THE PARTICULARS OF PUBLIC PRAYER

 

1 Timothy 2:1-2 - I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; [2] For kings, and for all that are in authority;

 

Notice there are four words dealing with prayer here.

 

·        Supplications

 

This word means to ask for what is needed.

If people need conviction, we can ask for it.

If people need for forgiveness we can ask for it.

If we need food, clothing, housing, we can ask for it.

If people need Spiritual growth, we can ask for it. That’s what we do when we pray the prayers of Paul in Ephesians 1 and 3 and in Philippians 1 and Colossians 1.

If people need to be saved we can ask for it.

If people need strength or protection we can ask for it.

   

Supplications

·        Prayers

This is a general word for prayer expressed to deity.

Our prayers not only include requests but also praise and adoration.

As we have seen before our prayers should include worship to God before we go asking for things. Psalm 99:5, 107:1, 149:1, Hebrews 13:15

 

Supplications

Prayers

·        Intercessions

When we think of the word “intercession”, we think of praying in another’s behalf.  And indeed prayerful intercession is called for in this passage of Scripture.   

   

According to William Hendriksen, however, the meaning of the word intercession here “…is rather that of ‘falling in with,’ ‘meeting with in order to converse freely,’ hence, ‘freedom of access.’ A person …finds himself in the very audience-chamber of God, the Father.” William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary – Thessalonians, Timothy and Titus, (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1957), p. 92

 

Think of this. Every time we come properly into the presence of God in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we come for an intimate, personal interview with God. And if we have an intimate interview with the God of the universe, we can certainly speak to God on the behalf of others.

 

Supplications

Prayers

Intercessions

·        Giving of thanks

We are to be thankful to God for all his blessings, yes.

 

In this verse we are told that our supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving are to be made for all men.

 

Now that’s a long list!

And we certainly don’t know everyone by name.

We know that we can pray for the Christians we know. I do that by mentioning several pastors and churches, and missionaries, and then pray those four prayers of Paul.

 

We know how to pray for the unsaved people we know personally and for backslidden Christians.

They either need to be saved or to get right with God.

How do we pray for all men?  For their salvation!  And we can pray for people in cities and countries all over the world.

 

And these prayers, besides being for all men are to be in particular for kings and others who rule over us.  We need to be praying for the rulers of the United States and other countries as well.

 

 

THE PURPOSES OF PUBLIC PRAYER

 

1 Timothy 2:2-4 - For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. [3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

 

The results of such prayer leads to a peaceful environment so that we lead quiet and peaceable lives. That sounds selfish doesn’t it?

However, we want the quiet and peaceable life so we can live godly and honest lives.

 

How often we forget that the Christian life is to be a godly life, a holy life. This should be the goal of each of us. Leviticus 20:26

 

Now why would we want such a quiet lives of holy living?   

   

1 Timothy 2:3-4 - For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

 

Quiet holy living pleases God!

Quiet holy living leads people to Jesus Christ.

It is not only a testimony of word that brings people to Christ. It is a testimony of life! The way we live is to be a testimony for Him. Matthew 5:14-16, John 13:34-35, 1 Peter 3:15

 

Look at verse 4 – God wants all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

That doesn’t mean everyone will be saved.

People must decide if they will accept Christ’s free gift of salvation.   

But this does open the door for us to pray for the salvation of all men, as we mentioned earlier.

The more we pray for the unsaved, the more we will see people coming to Christ. 1 Timothy 2:5-6

 

Why is it important that people be saved?

There is one God.

There is only one “go between” God and man.

Sin separates us from God.

Sin condemns us to the judgment of hell.

Sin made us the enemies of God.

Someone had to intervene.

Someone had to mediate between us and God.

 

In order to mediate with God, God’s own Son became a sinless man and died in our place.

 

Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for all.

When a ransom is paid it is so someone can be set free.

Jesus paid the ransom for youf sins so that you can be set free.

Jesus paid the ransom for the sins of the world so that the world can be set free.

 

The price has been paid for the sins of all.  All a person must do is trust Christ as Savior.

Romans 10:9-10

 

Who is that you know that needs to be saved? Are you praying for them?

So, we are to pray so we’ll quiet and peaceable lives, in all godliness and honesty.

We are to pray because God wants men to be saved.

 

THE PREREQUISITES TO PUBLIC PRAYER

 

1 Timothy 2:8 - I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

 

In verse 8 Paul is talking to men.  He tells the women to do likewise in the following verses. 

 

Prayer is for everyone. But there are some perquisites.

First of all, holy hands must be lifted.

There are various positions for prayer mentioned in prayer.

One such position is to lift our hands to God in prayer.

So, it is not wrong, if you feel so led, to lift your hands to God.   

 

Holy hands belong to people that are saved.

Holy hands belong to people that have confessed all known sin to God. Psalm 66:18, 1 John 1:9

Holy hands belong to people that hold no grudges. There is no wrath.

Holy hands belong to people who are not argumentative. That appears to be the meaning of the word “doubting”.

 

If you come to church having issues with your brothers and sisters, don’t be surprised when your prayers and the prayers of others are not answered.  And I’ve been here long enough to know that some appear to still have grudges and dissensions with each other. 

 

THE POWER OF PUBLIC PRAYER

 

God answers the public prayers of His saints. Acts 4:31, Acts 12