Where was Timothy’s place of ministry? It was in Ephesus, a city of great wealth and cultural significance, but also a place where there was a great deal of idol worship and wayward living, especially within its own church. Paul, in speaking with Timothy, wanted to address the men of the church to behave in such a way where they are honoring God, abstaining from immoral sexual behavior, and to overcome the false teachings that existed there. Timothy’s ministry there appeared to be a monumental task! Paul instructs Timothy, first and foremost, to pray for everyone and for the ministry (1 Timothy 2:1-4), and to be enabled by God through the Holy Spirit to carry on the work. All of our success in ministry begins with prayer and continues with a sincere heart and desire to pray consistently on a regular basis. In order to overcome the idol worship in the temple of Diana within the church, Timothy needed to also pray for others, as a measure of intercessory prayer. We also need to have a heart for prayer of thanksgiving, for both the answers provided and yet to come and for even being involved in minstry! There is also an importance for prayer for those who are in positions of authority (1 Timothy 2:2). If you are involved in God’s work, you will inevitably deal with persons, whether Christian or non-Christian, who are in authority. Prayer Is to cover those who are young and old, angry, depressed, filled with bitterness. Our prayer is to be against evil forces and those who oppose Jesus Christ. “Finally, pray for us, brothers, that the Lord’s message may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen and guard you from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:1-3).” In Acts 19:23-41, Paul received a tremendous amount of opposition from business leaders in Ephesus where he was convicting many from worshiping idols which, by nature of their change, was depriving the business owners of income because sales of idols had been affected. Thankfully, it was a city clerk that restored order with reasoning and prevented an additional uproar against Paul and the disciples. Why are we to pray? We are to pray in order to live peacefully amongst others (an inward peace) and quiet lives (without fighting or arguing). We pray to live a godly life and to be good and pleasing to God (1 Timothy 2:3) and to make God’s will known to others (2:4). In our ministry we are to speak up about the truth. We are to lift up holy hands and surrender our lives to him, rejecting a sinful lifestyle. As Ephesus was a place where there was false teaching within the church, idol worship and sexual immorality, the prayers for the people were born out a desire, through God’s will, for everyone to be saved. The gods of Artemis and Diana were not the way of life. The people of Ephesus were to be taught the truth of salvation and were to be instructed without anger or wrath. The testimony could not be tarnished by anger over the circumstances (1 Timothy 2:8). It was to be done with love and a genuine concern for the people. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself–a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time (1 Timothy 2:5-6).”
1 Timothy: Paul’s Call To Pray for the Ministry and For Others
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