Prayers For All Men 1 Tim. 2: 1-8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Paul put a priority on prayer. He exhorted, first of all, that prayers be made for all men. In this lesson we are going to learn what to pray, for whom to pray, why to pray, how to pray, when to pray, and where to pray. When you pray prayers for all men, here is:
What to pray – 1 Tim 2:1 – Paul gives us four kinds of prayers that we should pray. Supplication is humble, earnest prayer. The origin of the word is Latin where it meant to kneel down. You see this word repeatedly in Solomon’s prayer in 1 Ki 8, and you’ll notice that he was kneeling on his knees when he prayed [1 Ki 8:54]. Prayer is simply talking to God and includes confession, petitions, adoration and so forth. Prayer can be long or short. Intercession is prayer for others. And giving of thanks is just what it says; it’s thanking God.
For whom to pray – 1 Tim 2:1-2 – Paul said that we are to pray specifically for the following:
- All men. In other words, there is no one for whom we shouldn’t pray, saved [Eph 6:18] or lost [1 Tim 2:4]. God will have all men to be saved and “all” means “all.”
- Kings and all that are in authority. In our country that would be our president, vice president, cabinet members, congressmen, senators, supreme court justices, governors, lieutenant governors, state agency commissioners, congressmen, senators, county commissioners, mayors, council members, federal, state, county and municipal judges, and law enforcement officers. That’s quite a list.
- This is implied in verses 6-7 and stated clearly in Eph 6:18-20 & 1 Thes 5:25.
Why to pray – 1 Tim 2:2-4 – there are several reasons for us to pray mentioned in this text. First, we pray so that we may live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Second, prayer is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. Third, we must intercede for the lost; Jesus does [Heb 7:25].
How to pray – 1 Tim 2:5 – we know that there is only one God and there is only one mediator between God and men. That mediator is Jesus Christ. So, we pray to the one God, whom we call, “Father,” [Matt 6:9; Jn 16:23]. And we pray through the mediator, Jesus Christ. Thus, we pray in Jesus’s name [Jn 16:23-24; Jn 14:13-14]. This simple instruction excludes all other prayers to saints, to Mary, to Allah, to Buddha, or to the multiple gods of many other religions.
When to pray – 1 Tim 2:6-7 – Jesus gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Since the testimony of the gospel is now [2 Cor 6:2], then we should pray now for those who are lost. Jesus said, “… men ought always to pray, and not to faint,” [Lk 18:1]. Nevertheless, when you know a preacher will be preaching the gospel to the lost, you should be particularly diligent and fervent in prayer [Col 4:3; 2 Thes 3:1]. Paul was a preacher and he wanted men praying.
Where to pray – 1 Tim 2:8 – Paul said, “I will therefore that men pray every where.” Lifting up holy hands [1 Ki 8:54] is a posture of sacrifice and worship as in Ps 141:2 and Neh 8:6. Since our bodies are presented to the Lord as a holy, living sacrifice [Rom 12:1] this is an appropriate gesture in prayer. Just don’t make it a ritual where the hands go up but the heart doesn’t or the hands go up but they are not holy.
Conclusion: Paul adds final instructions at the end of 1 Tim 2:8, were he stipulates “without wrath and doubting.” Two things, in this passage, can hinder your prayers: wrath and doubting. Wrath will kill your prayer life. All wrath is to be put away from you [Eph 4:30-32]. Though Mk 11:25-26 was before the cross, it shows us the Lord’s attitude toward an unforgiving spirit. As James said, “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God,” [Jas 1:20]. And concerning doubting, read Mk 11:22-24 and Jas 1:6-8. Doubt will also kill your prayer life.