1 Timothy 2:1-15
Men, women and freedom
After our brief excursion into Paul’s second letter to Timothy, we now return to the first of his letters to him. Like his other letters, this one is immensely practical, dealing with the everyday details of Church life.
The Churches that Paul planted had to grow up very quickly. They were challenged by the behaviour of society around them and by the moral standards that prevailed. They had little to guide them beyond letters from Paul and some teaching from Jewish literature (The Old Testament) when Jews were in the congregation. Timothy himself had a background in Judaism and would have been aware of the moral standards that Paul, himself an ex-Jew, would have required.
v 1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.
What seems to occupy your concerns as you pray? Unless I am careful prayers seem to focus on my family, and the needs of others in the life of our Church. When there is a world crisis, like the one in Ukraine, prayer stretches out to them too, and then of course there are our friends further afield, and our mission partners, and our Government …. Does our concern know any boundaries I wonder? Paul’s concept of prayer is a space with no boundaries – when you know of a need pray for the people involved. And it is so much more than just a telegraphed list of needs – ‘Give thanks for them’ too. You are sitting quietly at home, or driving down to the shops, or queuing in the Supermarket, and at that moment someone, some situation, some national emergency crosses your conscious mind; don’t just drop the thought, pray, however briefly, about the needs of the people caught up in it. Then thank God for the people; such is the shrinking nature of our global reach that our lives are caught up with theirs – we are all in the one global village and decisions made in one place have an impact in every place. Prayer is the region of God’s internet activity; and you are privileged to be online with Him. You may only have the vaguest of ideas as to what the issues and needs are, but that must not stop you interceding for them and giving thanks for them.
The With-God Life is also a For-People Life, so your prayers can have no boundaries.