Mobilize Men For Prayer: 1 Timothy 2:7-8
“7) For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 8) Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.” ‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:7-8‬ ‭
Paul was appointed as a preacher and an apostle primarily to the Gentiles. The word “apostle” literally means “sent out.” I liken it to the role of the missionary sent out to start new works among people who otherwise may not hear the gospel. He was a teacher in the way of faith and truth.
He had a huge charge entrusted to him, but look at his strategy. According to verse eight, he mobilized men for prayer. He wanted them to “pray lift up holy hands to God without wrath or dissension.” Let me try to unpack the meaning of this verse.
The idea of “holy hands” means “righteous or pure.” We could tie this to the goal of his instruction in 1 Timothy 1:5 of agape love “from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” It is the idea of someone in a sincere and right relationship with God. Hence James said; “… The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16b)
We now have to wrestle with the two qualifying words of “without wrath and dissection.” This comes down to our motive in praying. Our praying must not be motivated by anger or a negative mindset toward the person or subject for which we are praying. We need to pray in faith and not unbelief.
Have you noticed how nearly impossible it is for someone who doesn’t believe that miracles or healings happen today to pray “in faith” for a miracle or healing? I have seen people become irritable or even mad at the suggestion of anointing people with oil and praying for healing. They are not harmonizing in prayer, they are dissenting. Jesus found it nearly impossible to do miracles in some places because of their unbelief.
The prayer offered in faith in James 5:14-15 is simply agreeing with the omnipotence of God. It is the recognition and confession that all things are possible with God. It is asking God to do what we cannot. It is reliance on the power and compassion of God.
Acts 4:24-31 records men coming together for this kind of praying. Notice the emphasis in verse 24 that they were “lifting up their voices to God in one accord.” They were in agreement. The end result was earth shaking.
Paul was instructing Timothy to bring men together for this kind of praying. This was the kind of praying that ushered in the Day of Pentecost. (See Acts 1:13-14) This was the kind of praying the Apostles devoted themselves to continually in Acts 6:4. This was the kind of prayer meeting in Antioch that Barnabas and Saul were sent forth from on the first missionary trip. (See Acts 13:1-4)
In 1 Timothy 2:8, Paul was charging Timothy to start these kinds of prayer meetings every place he went. If the effective prayer of one righteous man can accomplish much, what can happen when many righteous men assemble to pray and seek God with one mind while emptied of self and focused on Jesus Christ and the leading and power of the Holy Spirit? This was both the strategy and fuel that powered ministry in the early church. God wants men to often mobilize for prayer.
Keep in mind, 1 Timothy 2:8 is the conclusion of the foundation Paul laid down in 1 Timothy 2:1-7. I believe this kind of praying is the missing ingredient in much of the modern church. I yearn for this kind of praying. I will drive far and stay long for this kind of prayer meeting.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global