1 Timothy 2:1-4 – First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come the knowledge of the truth. (RSV)
Some of our questions about why pray and how to pray begin to find answers when we look at the apostle Paul's instructions about prayer found at 1 Timothy 2:1-4 within a conceptual framework of:
- Make statements
- On behalf of…
- To accomplish…
1. Paul listed four kinds of statements to be made:
- A – Ask or state the need. (Supplications)
- W – Worship God. (Prayers)
- I – Intercede — for yourself or others, in the name of Christ; resist evil and ask the Holy Spirit to destroy evil's work.
- T – Thank God.
Rearrange the initial letters of those four words and you have the acronym "W.A.I.T." W.A.I.T.ing is making statements that Paul told us are good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. The phrase, "First of all, I urge" means to give first and top priority.
2. Our W.A.I.T.ing statements are made on behalf of:
- all people
- kings (decision makers), and
- all in high positions (prominent and influential)
3. Our W.A.I.T.ing statements are made:
- so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way, and
- because God desires all men to be saved and to come the knowledge of the truth.
I find W.A.I.T.ing so rich and satisfying because I feel the Lord's pleasure as I announce His good news, whether in private or at a service of public worship. Does this conceptual framework add meaning and value to your times with the Lord?
Prayer: Loving, creating, eternal Father, in the name of Christ Jesus, we ask: please help us to understand prayer. We give You thanks for all that we may learn from the Bible and from Your saints! Amen.