Prayer for those in Authority (1 Timothy 2:1-8) (Part 3)

1.4 The Results of the Prayer Ministry

1Timothy 2:2b (KJV) “That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” In fact, it is for our own good that we Pray for “all men and for Kings and those in Authority,” so that we can “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” The Early Church was subjected to opposition and persecution, so it was wise to Pray for those in Authority.

The Purpose rather than the content is emphasised – “That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life” means that the Nation will achieve the Condition of Peace and Security that enables the Christians to share the Gospel without hindrance. Van Oosterzee notes: “The Apostle Paul does not mean that the church should be influenced, through such petitions, to lead a quiet and peaceable life under authority; but he supposes that God, who guides the hearts of kings as the water brooks (Proverbs 21:1), will, in answer to the prayer of the church, move the hearts of kings, and of all in authority, to leave Christians at rest.” (Van Oosterzee, pg.28).

Apostle Paul believed that the Prayer of the Church makes a definite difference in National Affairs because he believes that Prayer changes things. The two Purposes (“a quiet and peaceable life”) describes the kind of life that will be possible because of Prayer. In this passage are indicated by the conjunction “that” (hina) and “for” (gar). The verb “may lead” (diagómen) refers to the daily lifestyle:

1.4.1 Quiet

Quiet refers to circumstances around us, free from outward disturbance. The adjective “quiet” (êremon), found only here, denote the outward political and social situation. The word connotes the absence of internal or international war, the cessation of internal anarchy, and freedom from persecution.

1.4.2 Peaceable

Peaceable refers to “tranquillity arising from within.” This is especially significant since that was the time of terrible persecution by the Roman Emperor such as Nero. The term “peaceable” (hêsuchion) emphasises that Christians will not need to protest verbally any mistreatment. The same word is used of:

  • Godly women who are to learn in “silence” within the church.
  • Women who have a “quiet” spirit in the home (1Timothy 2:11,12; 1Peter 3:4). 
  • Christians should work at their secular jobs with such “quietness” (2Thessalonians 3:12).
  • The aroused Jewish multitude kept “silence” (Acts 22:2; same word) when the accused Paul began to speak in Hebrew.

This “peaceable” reduces outward pressures and prevent internal distress, which often issues in outbursts of complaint and protest. This type of social environment is conducive to the development of National and Spiritual life. Both “quiet and peaceable” thus describe conditions free from outward harassment and inner fears. “Godliness and Honesty” are the two attributes that denote the character that can best be developed in an atmosphere of external (“quiet”) and internal (“peaceable”) calm:

  • Godliness (eusebeiai) refers to the Godward Character of Reverent and Respectful, dominated by “the Fear of the LORD.” There is no difference between the Sacred and the Secular for the committed Christian. He seeks to glorify God in all aspects of life (1Corinthians 10:31).
  • Honesty (semnotêti) describes the Person Relationship to men, which is honourable, serious, and grave. The word indicates grace and dignity, it denotes an attitude of moral earnestness which is reflected in a dignified and worthy conduct toward men to command their respect.

The concept goes beyond mere honesty, the integrity of person’s actions, to the general character of the person himself. It has special relevance to interpersonal relationships as seen in:

  • Deacons (1Timothy 3:8).
  • Wives of Deacons (1Timothy 3:11).
  • Aged men (Titus 2:2).
  • The Elder (1Timothy 3:4) must manifest such spiritual gravity and decorum.

It is the Latin “gravitas,” and in the 17th century “honesty” meant something like this. It was “seemliness” or “decorum” in behaviour. A Christian bearing and conduct are contained in this word. A person who is “semnos” (and this is the Greek adjective) manifest a proper reserve on all occasions but a reserve which contains the elements of strength and decision. He enjoys good fellowship without playing the fool. He shuns extremes, extravagance, insincerity in manners and conversation.

The benefit of Prayer is a key to such behaviour of “the Fear of the LORD” and honest relationship with fellowmen. The Christian who obeys sincerely the behest to Pray for “those in positions of authority,” will exercise his vote with reason and regard to all, without the loud words and brash utterance which form the climate of violence, and with sympathy for harassed public men. The word “all” is best constructed with both nouns and indicates that both features (“Godliness and Honesty”) are to be fully demonstrated in the Believer. If Believers were always exemplifying such character, the Salvation of Souls would be greatly furthered.

1.5 The Basis of the Prayer Ministry

1Timothy 2:3(KJV) “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our Saviour.”

In 1Timothy 2:3-4, Apostle Paul indicates why each Local Church should pray “for all men and for kings and for all those in authority.”  The demonstrative pronoun “this” (touto) points back to the command and the content of the preceding two verses. Such Prayer has two Divinely Approved Qualities:

1.5.1 For this is Good

Taken alone, these words mark the intrinsic excellence of such Praying The word “good” (kalon) is defined as: “It is excellent in its nature and characteristics and is well adapted to its ends” (D. Edmon Hiebert – First Timothy).

  • Van Oosterzee comments: “Every such prayer is good in and for itself; it shows the true Christian spirit which marks the professor of the gospel; it yields us the enjoyment of that privilege named in verse 2” (Van Oosterzee, pg.24).
  • The Berkeley Version suggestively renders this passage: “Such praying is wholesome.” (Gerrit Verkuyla, ed., “The Modern Language Bible, The New Berkeley Version,” Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1946, 4:217).

Prayer of itself is a goodly practice and brings with it many good benefits. The adjective is a key word in the Epistle and is used 18 times (1Timothy 1:8,18; 2:3; 3:1,2,7,13; 4:4,6{twice}; 5:4,10,25; 6:12{twice},13,18,19).

1.5.2 Acceptable in the sight of God

The teaching here reaches much higher than the merely pragmatic. Such Praying is acceptable (epodekton), a word used only twice in the New Testament (1Timothy 2:3; 5:4), before God because it is in accord with His Will for all Mankind. This alone should be sufficient for the Church to be engaged in the four types of Prayer Ministry.

  • Prayer is also pleasing to the Lord Jesus. It pleases the Father when His children Pray as He has commanded them.
  • The Prayer of the Pharisees seeks the praises by men (Matthew 6:5) or to impress other Worshippers (Luke 18:9-14).
  • Christians Pray to please God. This suggests that we must Pray according to God’s Will, because it certainly does not, please the Father when we Pray selfishly (James 4:1-10; 1John 5:14-15).
  • It is often said that the Purpose of Prayer is not to get man’s will done in Heaven, but to get God’s Will done on earth. 

The adjective is based upon the verb (epodechomai) that stresses the idea of warm, joyful reception (Luke 8:40; Acts 2:41; 15:4; 18:27; 24:3; 28:30). Prayer thus is acceptable to God and will be answered by Him. Calvin remarks: “The only genuine rule for right and proper action is to look to God’s good pleasure and to undertake only what He approves.”  Prayer for all men and the Leaderships (Spiritual and Secular) is Good and Acceptable “in the sight of God our Saviour” (enópion tou sótéros hémon theou). There is only one God, and only He can save. Later Paul used this same descriptive phrase in promoting the financial support of widows by Members of her family (1Timothy 5:4). 

To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..

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