Reflection on the Epistle of 1 Timothy 2:1-7:  15th Sunday after Pentecost, September 18, 2022

The Epistle of 1 Timothy 2:1-7

First of all, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all — this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Let us Pray: Creator God, you call us to love and serve you with body, mind, and spirit through loving your creation and our sisters and brothers. Open our hearts in compassion and receive these petitions on behalf of the needs of the church and the world. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

What a fitting Epistle for this week as we bid farewell to a special lady who for 71 years managed to reign and support not only her people but to maintain an unwavering faith in our Lord and Savior. Through many conversations we have heard how important prayer was in her life.

Not only do we need all kinds of prayer, but also, we need to pray for all kinds of people. We have already noted Paul’s emphasis on prayer that all be reached through the gospel in line with God’s plan. Prayer is not a nicety, but a necessity. God is sovereign, yet His sovereign plan includes the prayers of His people. If we are involved with God’s plan for the world, then we will be praying in line with His plan. We can see four facets of God’s plan in these verses:

In verse 1 Paul uses four different words for prayer. The words are not altogether distinct in meaning, but there are hints of difference that reveal different needs that require prayer:

Supplications – an appeal to God for real and vital needs, here is where we often highlight physical needs.

Prayers – requests for needs that are usually always present, typically generic in scope and covering a large dimension.

Intercessions – where we pray on someone’s behalf, literally, we mediate in prayer between them and God. It is a pleading in the interest of others, prayer that that allow us to freely talk to God at any time or place.

Thanksgivings – Thanking God for who He is and what He has done. This is an expressed gratitude for all God has given us and being satisfied with who He is.

The point of all these words is that we have different needs at different times. But at all times we need God and, therefore, we need to pray. Paul tells us to pray for everyone, especially those in authority so that we can live peaceful lives and the gospel can be preached.

Let us Pray: Hear our prayers, God of power, and through the ministry of your Son free us from the grip of the tomb, that we may desire you as the fullness of life and proclaim your saving deeds to all the world.  This we pray in Your Name Our Lord and Savior, Amen.

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