The Scriptorium

Prayer and Piety

Paul continues his instructions of building the Lord's church. 1 Timothy 2

The Pastoral Epistles: 1 Timothy 2 (7)

Pray 72.17, 18.

His name shall endure forever;
His name shall continue as long as the sun.
And men shall be blessed in Him;
All nations shall call Him blessed.
Blessed be the L
ORD God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!

Review 1 Timothy 2.

Reflect.

1. Why does Paul put such emphasis on men praying?

2. Why does he focus on women when it comes to piety and good works?

Meditate.
Paul’s instructions to Timothy, who was pastor in the churches in Ephesus, is on how to build a church that grows in unity and maturity in Jesus Christ (Eph. 4.11-16), and thus fulfills the Lord’s agenda (Matt. 16.18). He begins where we might expect, by insisting on sound doctrine, sound teaching, and learning that issues in love, according to the Law of God (ch. 1). No church will grow as Jesus intends that does not have this as its foundation.

From there, Paul speaks to the men of the church, calling them to pray – all kinds of prayer, for all kinds of situations, in all kinds of places. Men praying is the key to the church becoming a house of prayer, and God bringing the blessings of faith and obedience to His people. 

As the men pray and learn to love like Jesus, the women are called to model true submission to the Lord in learning by living godly and pious lives that draw attention not to themselves, but to Jesus. Their godliness and good works are the mortar the Spirit uses to build Christ’s churches with enduring strength. 

Every member of the church – men and women – needs to remember that God has established the best working order for His economy and His people. We question or ignore or compromise or bypass that order to our own peril, as Adam and Eve sadly discovered. The church is the new garden of Eden, and God, through His apostles, teaches us how to maximize our participation in the Body of Christ so that the goodness and glory of God abound.

In chapter 3, Paul will further elaborate the Lord’s plan for building the Church of our Lord Jesus for His glory.

Reflect.
1. If Adam had prayed in all places at all times about all things – that is, if he had kept continuous communion with the Lord about His priorities and will – do you think the events of Genesis 3.1-6 might have worked out differently? Explain.

2. If Eve had refused to listen to the voice of disagreement and disorder, and had submitted in silence to God’s Word – rather than chatting away with the serpent – do you think the events of Genesis 3.1-6 might have worked out differently? Explain.

3. Why is it reasonable to suppose that God’s order for His churches – His garden – should be preferred to our best ideas or the changing winds of the times?

Drawing near to God, we give thanks for the whole world and the good things we commonly share. The blessings of God are shared in common, and in this common preservation you yourselves are included. Consequently, you both owe common thanksgivings for your own peculiar blessings and for those shared in common with others, for which you rightly should offer your own special form of praise. John Chrysostom (344-407), Homilies on Second Corinthians 2.5

Show me, Lord, how You intend to use me in building Your Church, and help me today to…

Pray Psalm 72.

This psalm addresses the petition, “Thy Kingdom come…on earth…” Here David prays that Solomon – and more distantly, the Messiah – may realize in their reigns the full blessings God has promised in His covenant. As you pray, thank the Lord for evidence of the Kingdom coming in your life, and ask Him to show you how to seek more of the Kingdom today.

Sing Psalm 72.
Psalm 72 (Martyrdom: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed)
O give the King Your judgment, Lord, and righteousness Your Son. 
And let Him judge by Your good Word the need of every one. 

Let now the mountains ring with peace, the hills in righteousness.
Let justice rise, oppression cease, and all the needy bless. 

Let nations fear You while the sun and moon endure on high. 
Refresh, renew us, every one, like sweet rain falling from the sky. 

Let righteousness abundant be where Jesus’ reign endures.
Let peace increase from sea to sea ‘til moonlight shall be no more. 

And let the Righteous rule the earth, and let His foes bow low.
Let nations praise His matchless worth, and all His bidding do. 

The Lord the needy rescues when he cries to Him for grace.
All they who suffer violence find mercy before His face. 

Let Christ be praised and all the gold of Sheba be His right.
Let blessings to His Name be told, and prayers made both day and night. 

And let the earth abound with grain, let fields His fame proclaim. 
And may our King forever reign and nations bless His great Name. 

Now bless the God of Israel Who wondrous works performs. 
And bless His Name, His glory tell both now and forevermore!

T. M. Moore

The lessons in this week’s study of the Pastoral Epistles, and all the studies in this series, are available as a free download by 
clicking here.

Whatever our calling in life, we are sent to bring the joy of Christ to the people around us. Our book, Joy to Your World!, can show you how to fill your Personal Mission Field with more of the Presence, promise, and power of Christ and His Kingdom. Order your copy, as a supplement to our study of 1 Timothy, by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.