The Influence of Prayer

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  1 Timothy 2:1-4 HCSB

Since chapter divisions were added for easier reading and referencing, it is always good to see what precedes the beginning of new chapter. The first chapter of 1 Timothy ends with Paul commenting about two opponents of the truth whose faith had become “shipwrecked.” He then reminds Timothy of the priority of prayer.

All kinds of prayer for everyone, including those who would be the most unlikely focus of prayer, “kings and all those in authority.” So, when Paul says “everyone” he really means “everyone”! What is the expected outcome of prayer? Prayer impacts individuals and it impacts our society. Paul says, effective, fervent prayer (I believe from inference) will keep people from becoming “shipwrecked” in their faith and it will lead to an environment of tranquility and peace.

The bottom line is that changed individuals, bring about a better society. As we witness the turmoil in our world and current tragedies, we realize that the “heart is desperately wicked.” True change comes from new hearts, new hearts come from encounters with the true God.

Will we see the total outcome of our prayers? Not this side of heaven. But fervent prayers of all kinds for everyone is pleasing to  God; and we are called to do that which pleases God. Why do those prayers please God? Because His desire is for all to be saved and to come to the “knowledge of the truth.”

Thomas, the disciple of Jesus once asked, “…How can we know the way?”  Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  (John 14:5-6 HCSB) Paul declared, For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, Himself human, who gave Himself—a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6 HCSB)

Clarity is the path out of confusion. When a fire hits, look for the closest exit. When you are lost, listen for the voice you recognize that is directing you to help. There are all kinds of applications in life when clarity and focus is our friend. How much more important when it comes to finding our way to peace with God.

A “quite and tranquil” life is available for the one who is willing to seek the Lord and to follow His voice and to walk in His ways. This side of heaven, we will not experience total peace in “the” world but you can experience it in “your” world.

Prayer for Today… “Lord help me grasp that fervent prayer for all, is what pleases You. My duty is to obey and leave the results to You. Thank You that You desire all to come to You. Help me facilitate that through prayer, my words and the life I live.”