๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ An Exhortation To Pray

Did you hear about the woman who bowed to pray on New Yearโ€™s Eve, saying, โ€œLord, for the coming year, I pray for aย fatย bank account and aย thinย body. And whatever You do, please donโ€™t mix the two up like You did last year.โ€

While Christians often forget to pray for others, most of us remember to pray for ourselves, especially when it comes to things like that!

Of course, you wouldnโ€™t thinkย a pastorย would forget to pray for others, but pastors are Christians too. So Paul wrote to Pastor Timothy, saying,

โ€œI exhort therefore, that, first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all menโ€ (I Timothy 2:1).

Now, when Paul onlyย exhortsย Timothy to pray afterย chargingย him to โ€œteach no other doctrineโ€ (I Timothy 1:3,18), itโ€™s easy to conclude from this thatย prayingย is not as important asย teaching.ย But an exhortationย from Godย is a serious thing! After the Lord told the Jews that โ€œthe blood of all the prophetsโ€ would be โ€œrequired of this generationโ€ (Lu.ย 11:50,51), Peter chose to โ€œexhortโ€ them, โ€œsaying,ย Save yourselves from this untoward generationโ€ (Actsย 2:40). That sounds serious to me! And when Paul then exhortsย usย toย pray, we know that prayer must be just as serious a matter in the eyes of God.

As we look back to the previous chapter to see why Paul would exhort Timothy to pray โ€œtherefore,โ€ we see that Paul just finished charging him to โ€œwar a good warfareโ€ (I Timothy 1:18). Well, what does every soldier do before going into battle? He prays! I donโ€™t care if heโ€™s a Christian or not. An old saying says, โ€œThere are no atheists in foxholes!โ€

Yet, as Christians, it is so easy to forget that God has called us to โ€œwrestleโ€ฆ against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high placesโ€ (Eph.ย 6:12). After Paul went on in that passage to describe the armor God gave us to conduct that warfare (Eph.ย 6:13-17), he exhorted the Ephesians to pray (Eph.ย 6:18). Naturally! After donning his armor, every Roman soldier was certain to pray to his god, and so must we.

Beloved, we mustย prayย for the lost with whom we share Christ, and we mustย prayย for the saints with whom we share the mystery, if we hope to โ€œwar a good warfareโ€ against the wicked spirits that are keeping them in darkness with their โ€œdoctrines of devilsโ€ (I Tim. 4:1). If you are laboring to bring souls to Christ and then build them up in the faith, why not follow the example of Epaphras, who was โ€œalways laboring ferventlyโ€ฆin prayersโ€ that people might โ€œstand perfect and complete in all the will of Godโ€ (Col.ย 4:12). source

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Posted in ๐Ÿ‘‘ Studies, ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ Prayers

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Bible Verse for 1/20/19

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. — James 1:2-3

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