We need to remember the power of prayer, especially as we think of those that are living in desperate conditions. I’m sure you will agree with me that there is great power in prayer. Just last week, I heard a testimony that spoke to this power and the comfort that it brought when a handful of people stopped and prayed.
Instructions on Worship
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:1-6
I think it’s interesting that the NIV begins this passage with the title instructions on worship. For that’s what prayer is, isn’t it? When I thought about this passage today, especially the phrase, for all people — kings and all those in authority, I began to think of people who are in need, not just the leaders in charge, all people. We read the phrase, all people, three times in this short passage, so I’m confident Paul wants us to be inclusive. There are no boundaries in Christ Jesus. He paid the price for everyone, regardless of station or level in this life.
As I begin to pray, the names and faces of several people came to mind. I had a sense of the pain that these friends must feel every day. It’s only a glimpse, a tiny portion of what they must feel every day. Their PTSD is mostly TSD. There’s not much “post” in their traumatic stress.
Then another thought occurred to me: what if we prayed with those in need? Surely it’s important to pray for our brothers and sisters, but what if we found a way to pray with them? Most churches have a prayer night or time for intercessory prayer for the people. But what would happen if we took the time to gather together, hold hands, and pray with those in need?
And so today’s post is more of a challenge than a reflection on scripture, though I hope it’s both! I do believe these actions fit the theme of the passage:
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4
Before I end this thought, please hear the reminder that this is an “and” proposition. Moving from a community of individuals toward a real community of faith will not happen by a single action, no matter how great that one step might be. We need to pray privately and together. We need to worship alone and corporately. We need to pray for those in need and with those in need. We need to pray for city and county leaders. The idea of “and” is essential.
My friend, Chad Wright-Pittman, provided this prayer to help us remember those in need:
Your grace and lovingkindness
toward us in Jesus Christ is unending.
Open our eyes
to those in need around us – need of any kind –
and show us
how we might pray
with and for them
that our hearts might be changed
and your kingdom might come
in some small way,
on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Rev. Chad Wright-Pittman
Now, may the peace of Christ be with you. May His presence be made known to you in new ways. Pass that peace onto others, even those that live on the margins and sleep on the streets.