Ministry 101: 1 Timothy 2:1-2
“1) First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2) for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 1 Timothy‬ ‭2:1-2
When reading these verses, it is important to keep the context in mind. Paul was writing to Timothy about his charge to stay in Ephesus to advance the gospel, help organize the church and combat many false teachers. It was a daunting task. So how was the young pastor to fulfill this charge?
As of first importance, Paul emphasized prayer and intercession. Prayer was his primary method and strategy for effective ministry. Why did he emphasize prayer as his top method for Christian living and ministry? Let’s quickly examine the New Testament focus on prayer.
Jesus built His earthy ministry on prayer. (Luke 5:15-16) The 120 early believers literally prayed in the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. (Acts 1:14) The early believers faced opposition and persecution through prayer. (Acts4:29-31) The Apostles rearranged their entire ministry and schedule around prayer. (Acts 6:4) The leadership of the church in Antioch built the whole ministry on prayer and fasting. (Acts 13:2-3) Paul built his whole ministry on prayer. (Philippians 1:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 1:2) Paul taught prayer as the number one secret and strategy for ministry for every church and every leader he personally mentored. (Ephesians 6:18-20; Philippians 4:4-8; Colossians 4:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2; 1 Timothy 2:1-8)
I don’t want to sound trite or redundant, but praying was the preoccupation of the early church leaders. Prayerless ministry is powerless ministry. Prayerless living is carnal living. Prayer is the fuel that powers the engine of Christian living and ministry. Prayer and communion with God is the doorway to walking in the Spirit.
We are invited to come boldly before the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16) Jesus as our great high priest is even now interceding on our behalf. (Romans 8:26-30) You will never walk in His sandals or share in His anointing apart from joining Him in intercession. Fruitful ministry was the overflow of His prayer life.
Let me paraphrase how Paul starts this section on prayer in 1 Timothy 1:1-8; “Timothy, as of first importance, your top priority, your primary ministry calling and focus… devote yourself to entireties and prayer, making petitions with thanksgiving to God for everything and for all people, especially kings and those in authority.” Programs might help organize a church, but only prayer can breath life into it. Ministry 101 as taught by Professor Paul was subtitled “Intercessory Prayer.”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global