Purpose in Peace
Updated: Jan 16
In 1 Timothy, Paul wrote concerning the church and God’s standard for those in it (1 Tim. 3:15). That standard includes prayer with specific intentions. He writes in the second chapter:
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
First of all. As Paul writes concerning God’s standard for His household, the church, prayer is of the highest importance. It is through prayer that our intentions and goals are communicated to God. Our thoughts become more clearly organized and directed as we pray with consideration for God’s will. Prayer is vital to the maintenance of the Christian’s walk with God. Of note, also, is Paul’s use of the term “I urge,” which is the equivalent of bold print in today’s font structure.
On behalf of all men. The type of prayer which is of first importance to the Christian life is that type which considers all men and communicates to God concerning them. These communications are categorized as entreaties, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings. The omission of complaints as a category of prayer is noteworthy. God’s goal for prayer is greater than to be bombarded by complaining voices. Consider that the Christian’s mind ought to trend toward the spiritual good of all men, even as concerns and difficulties are expressed to God.
So that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is the reason Christians pray on behalf of all men, and the reason why those in positions of authority are of special concern. Those in authority have the power to make life easier or harder for Christians. Christians desire a tranquil and quiet life, but not for the sake of tranquility alone. The reason peace is desirable is given in verses 3 and 4: it is better to spread the gospel without opposition from those with authority.
Do not think God intends Christian life to be peaceful as an end in itself. He sees peace and tranquility as an environment which allows the aggressive spread of the gospel to the lost souls in the world.
As you pray on behalf of all men, remember those in authority, and especially remember God’s goals for you: to reach the lost with the soul-saving message of Jesus. If peace exists, take advantage of the opportunity that has been afforded you. Appreciate that blessing by “redeeming the time” (Eph. 5:16). Spread the gospel!