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18/05/2010 / John Hanna

Pray for All People

Paul begins 1 Tim. 2 with call for all sorts of prayer for all sorts of people; through supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings.

The apostles first example of ‘all people’ is “for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way”.

As MPs return to the Commons today please pray for those in authority, specifically for the Government as they begin work. This is what Ray Van Neste says about this text:

1 Tim. 2:1–3:13 Descriptions of Gospel-Shaped Living. Having denounced the idle speculations of the false teachers, Paul turns to expounding in specific terms what true gospel living (1:5) should look like. He calls for prayer and he addresses hindrances to prayer (2:1–15), qualifications for overseers (3:1–7), and qualifications for deacons (3:8–13).
1 Tim. 2:1–15 Corporate Prayer and Issues Arising from It. In describing life that properly emerges from the gospel, Paul first mentions prayer for the salvation of all people. This also leads to a discussion of godly living and appropriate behavior in corporate worship, particularly unity, modesty, and proper submission.
1 Tim. 2:1 supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings. Paul’s point is not to list all the ways to pray but to pile up various terms in reference to prayer for their cumulative impact. This is a call for all sorts of prayer for all sorts of people.
1 Tim. 2:2 Kings and other authorities are mentioned as examples of the “all people” for whom Christians are to pray. The lifestyle encouraged here (peacefulquietgodlydignified) corresponds to the goal of apostolic teaching in 1:5 and contrasts with the behavior of the false teachers. This sort of living commends the gospel, a theme that will recur throughout this letter (2:11; 3:7; 5:7, 14; 6:1) as well as in 2 Timothy and Titus.

~ Ray Van Neste

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