We usually pray in the mornings, but it was a particularly busy morning. I asked my husband if he still wanted to pray and he smiled, and replied, “I’d be a fool not to”.
I smiled too, and not just because my man’s so cute! But because I had just read Paul’s words to Timothy—
Paul had just talked of waging the good warfare, and continues in his first letter to exhort Timothy, first of all, to PRAY. (1 Tim 2:1).
I thought about how this first letter to Timothy is doctrine that is meant to be applied to our every day lives.
We are to always, first of all, to pray.
For those of us who love the Word, sometimes prayer can take a back seat.
For those of us who are busy, sometimes prayer gets forgotten.
For those of us who are fixers, sometimes we run ahead without praying.
But God, through Paul, reminds us, he exhorts us, to first of all, PRAY.
And to pray for ALL men. (1 Tim 2:1)
And the word, “all”, here, in the original Greek language means….
are you ready for it? ….
We are to pray for everyone—believers and nonbelievers. Those we like and those we don’t. Those we agree with and those we don’t. Those of our political persuasion and those who aren’t. Those who love us and those who have hurt us.
ALL of them!
We are to intercede and give thanks for all.
And, I admit there are some I have not wanted to pray for—especially those who feel like enemies and act like enemies.
To be honest, just so you don’t ever believe I have it all together, sometimes, those prayers of mine for those who have hurt me, or have hurt my kids 😡, have started out with, “Lord, please let them come to know You; but if they aren’t going to come to know You, could You just take them out? Perhaps drop a building on them and smote them?”
I felt that “smote” was a spiritual word, but the truth is, my prayers began off base. I did not have the right heart when I prayed like that😳
But here’s the truth of what happened, as I prayed, God changed my heart.
He showed me my own sin and reminded me that if others would come to know Him it would be best for them (and all who know them).
I know this is good and acceptable because God tells us He desires all to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth (1 Tim 2:3); and we should have that same desire too.
This has to be our attitude. If it’s not, we need to pray for our attitude to change.
Because, if our Savior could pray for those who were nailing Him to the Cross, we’ve got no excuse but to pray for all the “all” we encounter.
What’s more, as we pray FOR others, even those who have hurt us, or are STILL hurting us, a strange thing happens…that knot in our stomach disappears, bitterness subsides, and freedom and peace wash over us… because as we pray for others, our hearts and minds are guarded in Christ Jesus.
And that’s exactly where our hearts need to be.
So, who do you NOT want to pray for today?
Yep. Perhaps, start with them. Pray FOR them.