Prayer: Who, Why & How
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous main avails much” (James 5:16). Since prayer is such an important part of the Chrisitan life, it only makes sense the more I know about prayer the more it can benefit me and those in my prayer life. Here are some basic details Paul gives Timothy about prayer in 1 Tim. 2:1ff.
The first detail Paul mentions about prayer is “WHO” should mention in prayer. The Christian is told, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Tim. 2:1-2). From our family and friends, to our enemies to even those in places of political power, the Christian should be ready to pray for all men.
The next detail Paul mentions about prayer is the “WHY” of prayer. One of the motivations in prayer is “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Tim. 2:2). We have all heard that prayer has powerful results and this verse definitely affirms that truth (James 5:16). Imagine the good we can do for our own lives, the church, and for our country if we only pray. But, we also must imagine the good we will miss out on doing if we don’t have an active prayer life.
The final detail Paul mentions about prayer is the “HOW” of prayer. This aspect of prayer deals with the Christian’s attitude and motivation in prayer. Paul says, “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Tim. 2:8). The idea of lifting up holy hands is indicative of an attitude of a desire to be pure, submissive, and humble before God (See Ps. 24:4). Before we enter into the sacred communication of prayer, may we always examine our hearts and come before God in a manner acceptable to Him! —Ben Bailey