2 Aug 2006

The Gospel, Prayer & World Peace

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: 1 Timothy, Contemporary Ethics, Discipleship, Hermeneutics, Prayer, War -Peace

The Gospel, Prayer and World Peace

In 1 Timothy 2 the apostle to the Gentiles, Paul, urges his son in the faith to be devoted to prayer. He urges Timothy to be on his knees before he does anything else. There is good reason for this, perhaps several. First, by urging Timothy to devote himself to prayer he is constantly reminded that he needs the power of God to live in this age. The very act of prayer sends a powerful message that we are not sufficient for the task. The very act of prayer proclaims we are dependent upon the ever-present grace of God for even the mundane things of life.

Prayer, as Paul presents it in 1 Timothy 2, is also other centered. Paul urges Timothy to lift up “intercession and thanksgiving for everyone.” Prayer forces us to be aware of our brothers and sisters, our neighbors and our world. The focus of prayer, here, is going to God on behalf of others and not myself. Prayer becomes a great act of loving our neighbor as ourselves when we bring their concerns to God before we give him a list of our own wants and desires.

Prayer is also important, says Paul, because through it we can impact the global scene. Christians in Africa, Asia and North America can affect Osama bin Laden by praying for him. We can affect George W. Bush by going to the Lord on his behalf. We can impact the crime in our land by praying that hearts be changed.

For Paul this is not simply a pragmatic concern however. For him it is a matter of the Gosepl. If the world is in turmoil and Christians would rather fight over biblical trivial pursuit then the message that Christ gave himself as a ransom for all people (2.5) is eclipsed! That for Paul is unthinkable; thus, the urging of prayer by Paul. Christians are to lift up hand in prayer “without anger or disputing” (2.8).

Instead of obscuring the Gospel we are called to pray. By doing so we are reminded of our need of God, we show our love for others . . . and we impact the world. That is how we open a door for the Gospel. So the question is: Are we praying?

Bobby Valentine

20 Responses to “The Gospel, Prayer & World Peace”

  1. Dee O'Neil Andrews Says:

    Bobby –

    What do you consider to be praying without ceasing? Would like to hear your opinions and beliefs on this topic.

    As for what you say here in your post:

    “The very act of prayer proclaims we are dependent upon the ever-present grace of God for even the mundane things of life.”

    For what it’s worth, I agree. We know not how we should live or conduct ourselves without the Father’s guidance and longsuffering. I try to live a life of prayer, if you will, in all I say and think and do.

    It seems to me to be the only way to live and I feel ever closer to God the father and Jesus Christ the son in trying to do so.

    May we all come to that place where prayer and God come first in our lives through all and in all.

  2. Mark Says:

    Hey Bobby,
    Good post. It is easy to undervalue or forget about prayer for others. I don’t go down our church’s prayer list and sincerely bring those people before God anywhere near as often as I should. Too often we can get that mentality, “I wish there were something I could do for you, but all I can do is pray”…as if that is terribly insufficient. I have to keep reminding myself that I pray to a Father who listens, and who opens the door when I knock. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. DJG Says:

    Not as much as I should be….but I am working on it!

  4. Velcro Says:

    Bobby, Good post. I pray in the mornings on my way to work. You make a good point. Praying for other people does bring us closer to them. When we carry their needs to the Lord, there is a type of spiritual connection between us and them.

  5. Ben Overby Says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Ben Overby Says:

    Bobby, excellent points. Sometimes I hear people say things like, “prayer works.” I wonder if they haven’t missed something. Prayer doesn’t work. God acts. The psalmist wrote, “Trust in Him and He will act.” God works. He provides the resources. In prayer we express our trust and invite His grace; we show the humility of a creature at the feet of the Creator. When we suppose prayer works, we confuse the means for the end, and God doesn’t get the glory He deserves (in my opinion). Coincidently I blogged from Ps. 103.1 this morning, saying a tiny bit about our posture before the Father. Check it out when you get a moment. Thanks, as always!

  7. Frank Bellizzi Says:


    Having a time and place–a routine–for prayer has always made a positive difference for me.

    Once the habit was developed, I found myself looking forward to the time. Once I came to my place of prayer, my mind and my body knew what to do.

    Before, I never imagined it could be like that for me. But having read the suggestions of prayerful people, I gave it all a try. They were right.

    By the way, my 2 cents on 1 Timothy 2. The passage envisions not private prayer, but what we call “corporate prayer.” The term “place” is shorthand for synagogue (sort of like C of C people talking about “the building”); and the call for prayer “without anger or argument” obviously has people together and getting along.

    So, I think one of the regular times and places for prayer should be in assembly of God’s people. And not token prayers (“guide, guard, and direct us” stuff) which are akin to our token “feasts” of the Lord’s Supper.

    More prayer. More food. More drink. More public reading of Scripture. Less announcements and preaching (although I’m all for mentioning what needs to be mention, and good preaching too).

  8. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Frank your ‘2 cents” is not different than mine. I believe 1 Tim 2 envisions corporate activity.

    Bobby Valentine

  9. Kevin B. Says:


    On prayer “without ceasing,” how familiar are you with the more liturgical slants of prayer found within the Catholic/Orthodox/Anglican communities?

    Scot McKnight wrote a great little book not long ago entitled, Praying with the Church. You read it? It’s very good for Evangelicals.

    Christians in the Apostolic age would have understood “prayer without ceasing” to include, at the bare minimum, liturgical prayers done at certain times during the day. Though I am still working on this habit, it is one which has already brought increased depth to my prayers and comprehension of prayer in general.

  10. Danny Says:

    Thanks for the reminder Bobby.

    Your comments as well as those who have posted blessed my prayer life.

  11. Danny Says:

    Bobby, in your most recent visit to my blog you brought up the principalities and powers of which Paul speaks.

    They are indeed a supernaturally evil combine set against in a purposeful way for our destruction.

    I would like to hear more from you on this.

  12. Royce Ogle Says:

    How much better do you suppose our churches would be, both internally and as carriers of the Good News externally, if the preacher’s only assignment was to pray and prepare to preach the word?

    One of the reasons the first deacons were chosen was so the the disciples could concentrate on praying and preaching. They said in Acts 6:4 “but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

    Then in verse 7, “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

    I am convinced that the lack of prayer is why our churches are often doing no more good than civic organizations.

    God hears and answers prayer. We are commanded to pray, it is not optional.

    The creative and resurrection power of God is at our disposal if we will only wait on Him in prayer. Only a praying people will help to increase the kingdom of God.

  13. preacherman Says:


    Great thoughts.
    As a young minister I have been amazed how God answers prayers time and time again when we bring our needs before Him. The church I am at is a praying church. We have seen God answer prayers of sicknesses that seemed impossible by doctors, we have seen relationships restored, marriages saved, Christians relationships strengthend in God because of congregational prayer. I have also seen God power released in my life because of prayer.

    It is easy for people especially ministers to have a personal prayer time but it is a must and so benifital.

    One book that helped me is Bill Hybels book “Too Busy Not To Pray.” I highly recommend this book to any christian or minister who is having difficulty finding time for personal prayer.

    Bobby thank you for your thoughts as always.

    God bless you and your ministry.

  14. Allen Coker Says:




  15. MommyHAM Says:


    Amen! And in total keeping with my response to the church vs. tax programs guy at my church. And, guess what? Yesterday, he answered my call for prayers with, “I’m praying hope it [training] goes well.” Every day miracles happen when we pray for each other, together and alone.

    To pray together for each other requires another thing I harp on: transparency and openness re: needs. To pray alone for someone other than ourselves requires humility. To pray “thy will be done,” [and really mean it] requires love and obedience to the Lord. Common theme? These traits are all ones we should be embracing, per Scripture as a whole.

  16. Stoogelover Says:

    Bobby: I’ve struggled w/ personal prayer for years. Have seen many prayers answered within our church family and very, very few of my personal prayers answered. I don’t pray for a lot about material things, but I do ask for guidance in major decisions and have yet to have a clear answer on any of them!
    So I appreciate anything people I trust have to write about prayers. Thanks for the post!

  17. Wade Tannehill Says:

    This is my response to Royce’s comment. Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen!!!! I could not agree more! So many of our preachers are burned out and stretched thin, because in a volunteer organization only an employee can be forced to do those jobs nobody else wants, which are often the equivalent of waiting tables as opposed to ministry of the Word. If the preachers could focus on doing the work of a preacher instead of the wrok of the church, our congregations would be much healthier!

  18. Darin L. Hamm Says:



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