I Timothy 2:1-2
The Apostle Paul wrote two letters of encouragement and instruction to his apprentice, Timothy. Timothy had traveled and ministered with Paul for years. They had a close knit relationship as Paul calls him in I Timothy 1:2, “my own son in the faith.” Timothy is to believed to have taken on the pastoral role in Ephesus at the time of the writing of this epistle. With that in mind, I believe Paul desired that Timothy “mightest war a good warfare” (I Timothy 1:18) or in other words, that he would be an effective minister of the Gospel in that position. In our text, Paul emphasizes immediately the necessity of prayer for Timothy. Paul states, “I exhort…first of all” or in other words, “I strongly encourage you to make prayer a top priority in your life.” So often, we as Christians make prayer “last of all” but to be an effective minister for Christ, whether you are “in full time ministry” or not, we must make prayer a top priority. Effective ministry begins in the prayer closet, not a packed schedule full of ministry work. Our effectiveness is directly linked to our prayer life.
As Christians, we want to see people “moved” towards God. We want people to respond to the Gospel. We can be very diligent in giving the Gospel out, but if there is no power behind the message, the message falls flat. Paul encouraged Timothy to be praying for “all men.” Its through prayer, we call upon God to make conditions right for a person to respond to the Gospel. Its God who can open the blinded eyes, illuminate understanding, remove distractions, tenderize a heart, & convert a soul. Timothy’s ministry would be worthless without prayer as he could not do those things on his own. He also had to work within the context of his setting, at that time, it was within the Roman Empire. Paul encouraged Timothy to pray for the leaders of the empire, so that God’s Word could have free course and that they could live out their faith openly. Many lessons exist in this passage, but these are the critical ones: #1 Make Prayer Top priority daily #2 Pray for people so the Gospel can take root for their conversion #3 Pray for our leaders – their decisions affect our ability to live out our faith and share the Gospel of Christ. Our prayers affect more than we’ll ever know.