1 Timothy 2:1-6 - First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
This is how the Word of God comes to us, in Christ, just like it did to a man named Paul. It turned him around from the agony of despair—which is the sort of thing that can make people say, "We can't do anything about it"—to the joy of hope—which is the kind of thing that made Paul say, "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).
What happened to Paul can happen to anyone. It can happen to you. If you are pessimistic and beaten down by the world, the Word of God is for you! Jesus Christ died for you and He lives for you. There is forgiveness and peace in God's Son, our Savior. There is victory in Christ over everything that stands in your way to real happiness, true peace, and everlasting life.
Paul told Timothy that there is always the Christ, who goes before us. Therefore, do battle for the right, armed with God's Word, your faith, and a clear conscience. With faith in God, there is spiritual power to meet life's obstacles; there is strength to withstand the wiles of the enemy and persevere (see Ephesians 6:10-20).
As Paul and Timothy both knew, they should pray for the welfare of the world—hopeful that God will reach others as they were both met by Him. To some people, this may sound like impractical advice. To them prayer is a desperate measure, something you try when everything else has failed. To people with faith in God, prayer is born not out of desperation but out of confidence in God which gives a man hope. Why? Because he knows the action of God is man's first and best hope.
When you pray for others, be prepared for the possibility—the very real possibility—that God will begin with you. Pray that others—your family and friends, your enemies, leaders in high positions—may open their hearts and minds to the will of God, and be willing to be led by Him yourself. Pray with hope and courage, and be prepared for a call to action right where you are, where you live, where you work.
Pray and place your trust in God "who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, we pray for those who need to hear and receive Your truth. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
From "We Can't Do Anything About It," a sermon excerpt by Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Why is it important to remember that Jesus died for everyone, everywhere, at all times?
2. How can we learn to pray for all people—even those we find less than loveable?
3. Do you pray to God that He will give you a godly concern for others, or do you leave it to Him to move your heart in that direction?
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