I Timothy 2
Paul starts this chapter with a “first of all”. In other words as he is setting Timothy up to lead the church of Ephesus he wants Timothy and the people to understand, before you can have success in church, in life, In anything, this is what you do “First of all”. PRAY!!
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people. 1 Timothy 2:1
Supplications, are requests. We are not supposed to pray to God simply to ask for things. But we are supposed to come boldly to the throne to ask for what we need. Oh what a war that can be going on in your mind if you think on this too hard. I do think the Bible gives us direction to ask God. I think though where we, where I get tangled up is what is my motive for asking. I have to check myself over and over why am I asking. One thing I try to do when I am asking God for something that I can’t clearly see to be His will, I add if it be Your will Lord”. And then I ask God that if what I am asking for is not His will, for Him to change my heart. And I can honestly say I have seen Him answer my prayers with some of the things I asked for and I have sure had Him change my heart too. So ask God for what you need, for what you want, but also ask Him to only give it to you if it would be for your good and His glory and if it is not to be to change your heart in the meantime. He will answer!
Prayers is communication with God! This prayer thing is a two way street. As you ask God for your needs and your wants, you must also tune your ear and your heart to listen to Him. That is what Prayer is. We have the Holy Spirit living inside us to lead and to guide us, to communicate with us and to be with us all the time. Ask God to help you tune your ear and your heart to what He wants to say to you. He longs to communicate with us.
Intercessions are for other people. Who in your life do you need to be bringing to the throne of grace. If you have been following these devotions we have had a different people group that we are praying for daily. But we all have people that we need to pray for daily as well. It’s biblical, it’s right here. Pray for others, bring them to the throne and lay them at His feet in your mind. When Paul points that out here He was putting high importance on it for the church.
Thanksgivings is just what it says. Acknowledge to God the blessings He gives. How has He answered a prayer for you. What little blessings can you acknowledge to Him that He has given you. I have a journal that I try to write 3 blessings down every day. I read Ann Voskamp’s “1000 Gifts” where she counted her blessings daily and wrote them down until she reached 1000. I have started and stopped this many times. Well I started back last summer and I am almost to the 1000 mark. I have probably missed a few days here and there, possibly but I have kept after it and I want to continue even after I make 1000. It has made me more aware and it has made me more grateful for all of the little things and the big things that God does for me daily.
There are some things in the rest of this chapter that I must admit I read and was like hmmm. However I do believe I have to take the whole of God’s word and that it is not right to pick and choose what we want to grasp and hold on to. However, I also think that it is ok to ask God to teach you what is meant and sometimes that takes a little more time. The main focus of this chapter though is prayer. Paul also states in verse 8:
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling. (1 Tim. 2:8)
Watch yourself, check yourself, first of all we are to pray, but also lift your holy hands in prayer without anger or quarreling in your heart. That needs to be something you cleanse yourself of when you come to the throne as well.
There is some strong language in this chapter on women in the church. What I gleaned from this chapter as well as the whole of the Bible is that God did set up an authority for things. And that is what the directives are here. I love being a woman, I like dressing cute, and I like cute hair and jewelry. Maybe, and this is opinion and not something I can back up anywhere scripturally, but maybe the sin is putting too much focus on it. I think being a woman is a blessing and I for one will just keep having conversation with God over what I am supposed to glean from this one.
** Update: I made it to 1000 in my blessing journal and I am still counting.
Please pray for the educators and students today. It’s a weird school year.