Joining in person and online, we have some people traveling today, some people arriving late. We could pray for Junior. I got a text that he was not feeling well Thursday, had a fever, went to the emergency, so he’s been taking some rest. So let’s keep lifting up Junior and his family to the Lord.
Any praise or thanksgiving or a word that you’d like to share for the edification of the Body of Christ? Hello, hello, hello. Well, how about I read 1 Timothy 2:1-4. “First of all then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people. For kings and all who are in high positions that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God, our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4, ESV)
Let’s pray. Father, we thank you that in these four short verses we get a glimpse into your heart. We pray that you would unpack and reveal more of your heart to us. We pray that you would give revelation and understanding so we can pray and intercede on behalf of ourselves and this world in accordance to the perfect will of God. Thank you, Lord, in Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen
In light of world events, I want to ask just a question for you to mull over on your own. How have you been praying these days? How have you been praying these days?
1 Timothy 2:1, it says, “Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercession, and giving of thanks be made for all men.”
1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, (1 Timothy 2:1, ESV)
Here I see two levels of prayer and I think we stop at the first level oftentimes and I want to encourage us to go to the second level of prayer.
It starts with supplications and prayers. Supplications, we know, it is felt needs. We have many needs. We lift them up. Prayers of healing, prayers of provision, prayers for salvation of people around us, prayers of various kinds. So supplications are very familiar to us. Beyond that, we have a time of prayer. We exchange our wishes. It is back and forth with the Lord. There is a relational aspect to this type of prayers beyond the needs. It is a relational exchanging of wishes and desires. So that is, I think, the first level of prayer and it often, at least in my prayer life, it often stays at this first level.
But what I see here is there is a second level of prayer and it says intercessions and giving of thanks. Intercessions is a higher dimension of prayer. It is a prayer of intervention that hits the mark. And what is the kind of prayer that hits the mark? It is a prayer that reflects the very specific will of God in any given circumstance. It is the heart of God in any given situation. It is a prayer of intercession.
And of course a prayer of giving thanks. We know that giving thanks is perfectly the will of God in every situation because God’s word says it. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV)
Hebrews 7:23-25, it says, “Also there were many priests because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, Jesus, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is able to give, to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:23-25, ESV)
So if Jesus lives to intercede for us and for the world, what do you think Jesus’ prayer primarily is? On any given day, in every situation, what is Jesus’ prayer as He intercedes for the world? And I think the answer was the verses that we read.
1 Timothy 2:2, “For kings and for and all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:2, ESV)
I read at the outset ESV. I switched just now to the New King James because the New King James, I think, captures the meaning of these words. Some translation switches the order. It says peaceful and quiet, but the better translation is quiet and peaceable. Quiet is an inner quality. It’s an inner tranquility. You’re undisturbed. You’re untriggered. You’re free from outward disturbances. There’s a unnecessary, without a need for commotion, needless commotion, someone who is inwardly composed. Does that characterize your life with this type of quiet disposition?
And then peaceable is, I think, a little bit of quiet for sure and tranquil and peaceful, but it goes a little bit beyond that, I think, to how we speak, how we relate to people. So I think a good translation is peaceable because you are tranquil, peaceful, still, steady, settled because the inner calm, but it also adds an important distinction here. It says you don’t misuse words and you don’t overuse words that would unnecessarily stir up friction and destruction and commotion. So this one, I think, spills over to how we speak and we know that from the heart, from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. So, the one quiet leads into peaceable, or loud leads into dissension, commotion, friction, all sorts of division, stirring up, provoking, triggering. And so, if I were to sum up, what is God’s heart? It is salvation for the world. God’s heart, He wants all men to be saved.
And so, as Christians, we pray first for ourselves. We pray for a household. We pray for our church, local and universal. We pray for the nation that we live in, America. We pray for the world. We want every man, woman, and child on earth to be saved because what’s the point of just being a quiet and peaceful, just me and my household and detached from the world? What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and not and lose his soul?
So this is not just quiet, leave me alone, kind of a quiet. This is obviously salvation, which leads to the right kind of a quiet, a right kind of a peaceful speech in all godliness and reverence. So this is salvation for the world. Salvation for the world.
And if I were to break it down more specifically, it’s a quiet and a peaceful, peaceable life individually, personally. That’s our first prayer. And then beyond that, a quiet and a peaceable family and a household. And beyond that, a quiet and a peaceable local church and a universal church. A quiet and a peaceable nation, America. And a quiet and a peaceable world. This is the will of God. This is what a prayer of an intercession sounds like.
In 1 Timothy 2, it says, God desires that. Specifically verse 8, actually before that, I want to break down a little bit more. A quiet and a peaceable life. Does that characterize your life? Does it characterize your speech? Can people say of you, you are quiet and the way you speak is peaceable? Are you restrained in your emotions? Are you restrained in your speech? Do you overuse your words? Do you overuse your speech? Do you say things that you should not say? Do you provoke?
It says, fathers, don’t exasperate your children. If you’re a father, do you say things that exasperate? If you’re a mother, do you say things that exasperate the children? If you’re a father, if you’re a husband and a wife to one another, do you say things that provoke? That trigger?
So you have two sides of this. You have the someone who provokes. It could be the child to the parent. It could be the parent to the child. It could be a husband to the wife, wife to the husband. Do you say things that provoke? If you do, you need to repent. You bring your soul before the Lord. That soul which keeps on provoking needs to be redeemed, needs to be forgiven, needs to be changed.
On the flip side of it, if you’re not on the, you’re not the provoker, but you’re the other side, you get triggered. It’s no different. It’s the same heart that either provokes or responds by being triggered. And it’s just dissension, noise, turmoil. It’s a loud house full of strife. It starts with one, but it could end with one. And that person just has to repent and deal with the Lord.
But if that person is in an environment, in a household that gets triggered in a marriage with parents and kids and a family, if that’s the case, then it doesn’t end with the person who provokes. The person gets, other people around them get triggered. And this is exactly the opposite of what we’re supposed to experience in our personal lives and in our family lives.
So just a quick way to see how is your personal soul before the Lord? How is your, is your family life? Is it characterized by quiet and peaceable?
The second half of 1 Timothy 2 that I did not read goes into verse 8, men, and verse 9 through the end, women. And it says to men, lift up your holy hands without wrath and doubting. So men can have this problem. Maybe we provoke, maybe we cause children to be exasperated. Maybe we’re the source of the problem, or we’re, we’re not any better. Other people’s immaturity, other people’s soulishness, uh, triggers us and then we respond with wrath. Is it any better? No, it’s the same. It’s the same.
Whether you’re in a relationship with your spouse, whether you’re in a relationship with your spouse, is it any better? No, it’s the same. It’s the same. Whether you’re the provoker or you’re the one who gets triggered, it’s the same soul that is lacking quiet and is not peaceable.
And so fathers, husbands, can we be characterized that we are slow to speak, slow to wrath? As it says in James 1:19-20, “So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20, ESV)
And you may be, you may have grown up in a family that had a lot of wrath. You may have been a, you may have been a part of a church that had a lot of wrath from the leadership down, that had a lot of wrath from the leadership down. It does not accomplish, produce righteousness. God’s word says it clearly.
And to me, it starts with the men. Do we, are we slow to speak? Are we quick to hear, slow to speak? Do we keep our emotions in check? We do not get triggered, even if everybody around us, every single day, we’re being nagged, we’re being provoked, there’s immaturity all around because you have young children. Yet do we respond with wrath? I think this largely falls on the men and the fathers, the husbands. This has nothing to do with the children and the wives. This, I think, mainly has to do with the men.
Do we respond with wrath? And in our mind, we might think it’s justified wrath. We need to put people in their place. It says the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. So men, we need to receive this from the Lord. These are verses that directly respond, are talking about our, the lack of quiet and the lack of peaceable soul in us.
And then the other side of it, the women, we may read verses 9 through 15. I won’t read it, but you can read it for yourselves. We may say, this is so offensive. Women, are we supposed to take these verses to heart in the modern era of equal rights? And this is not right, but it’s in Scripture. So we need to wrestle with this as a body of Christ. Like, what does it mean to submit?
I think, and this is, you know, I’m not a woman, so I’m not going to say too much, but if I were just to make a generalization, men speak way less than women, although we have exceptions, I’m sure. Women, on the most part, say many more words than the men. So these verses, women, you need to take it in. The same way that the men, we take in, let’s not be wrathful in response. Let’s not be wrathful in response to whatever our wife does to us, says to us, our children in their immaturity says or does to us.
Men, husbands, fathers, let’s not respond in wrath. It does not accomplish, achieve, produce the righteousness of God. On the flip side, women, be careful with the words that come out, please. You may be not the one who triggers, but maybe you’re on the other side, you’re the provoker through words, because many more words come out on any given day. At least in my household, it comes out way more than what I produce.
And so one side is provoking, the other side is wrath, triggering, being triggered. It can happen parents to children to parents. It can be father to children. It could be spouse to spouse. And God’s word is, God’s will is that each of us has a quiet soul, inner calm and peaceable in terms of speech, primarily. It comes down to speech. Is it measured? Do we, are we, do we have a word? It’s on the tip of our tongue. Our emotions are rising in anger. Are we, are we quick to say it? Because we feel it, because it came to our mind.
We’re quick with our words. We’re, this is how we, we’ve done life. We’ve done life this way. This is how we, we saw our family growing up. It was like this in our household. And we do this. And, and even in churches, we saw this type of leadership. But God says, don’t be that way. Don’t be the one who provokes everybody around you because you say things you shouldn’t say. On the, on the flip side, it also, when you’re on the receiving end, do you get triggered so easily so that wrath comes out? It’s wrong on either side.
And we may think, okay, this is, this is so not the modern era to distinguish men and women like this. I want to bring our attention to our example, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ in Philippians 2. He did not consider equality with God something that He had to hold on to, but He became a servant. He gave up His reputation. He took on the likeness of man, being found in appearance as a man. He humbled Himself by His own volitional choice. He became obedient to the point of death, not just any death, but a death on a cross. And that’s why God exalted Him so that, so that, so that His name is lifted above every name. At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow in heaven on earth and under the earth. Every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11, ESV)
And then John 14, verse 10. Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does the works.
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. (John 14:10, ESV)
So if you get offended by Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 2, then you will also get, you should also get offended by Jesus, who is equal with God the Father, God the Spirit. But He chose to humble Himself. And He took on, you could say, the role of the woman before God the Father. And He allowed God the Father to be the leader. And He did not even speak. Lord Jesus didn’t even speak until He heard from the Father. He restrained His tongue. He didn’t just go out and do ministry, although He had all the wisdom, all the power and authority. He didn’t do anything until He first heard the words from the Father, do this today.
And so Jesus displays what it looks like to be a godly woman, you could say, in a sense. And that’s why He’s lifted up. That’s why He’s the head of the church. That’s why He’s the senior pastor. That’s why He leads by example. And we, as the bride of Christ, we humble ourselves. And we take our leadership. We submit under the leadership of Jesus. So, if you get offended by 1 Timothy 2, you will likely also get offended by the person of Jesus, because Jesus did both. He was submitted under God the Father. He was a humble, sacrificial leader who had a soul that was quiet, who, in His words, was measured, who was peaceable. And that’s why He is our leader. That’s why He’s our Lord and Master.
So, can that characterize your own soul, quiet and peaceable? Does it characterize your household, quiet and peaceable? If you’re the provoker, repent of your provocations. If you’re the one who gets triggered and there’s wrath, repent of the wrath. It’s the same heart on either side, same immaturity. Let’s put away triggering responses, wrath. Let’s put away the provocation. A quiet and a peaceful life, a quiet and peaceful household.
What about quiet and a peaceable church? When we gather on a Sunday, we’re reminded that life is more than me and my family. We get reminded that, oh, there’s other people in this world. Like, maybe this whole week, you only interacted with your family. And so we can almost, like, turn our blinders off and miss the heart of God and think, oh, it’s just about me and my family.
Jesus says in His word in the Sermon on the Mount, if you are good to your family, well, even pagans do that. That’s not love. Like, you don’t have to be a believer. You don’t have to believe in God to be good to your family. But for the Christian, because we have supernatural love poured into us, our love goes beyond our family.
And so when we gather on a Sunday, I hope it’s our natural heart that we want to know what’s happening in the lives of our fellow brothers and sisters. We want to care for them. We want to know how we can pray for them. We want to carry each other’s burdens. And so when we hear that Junior is sick, I hope that gets added to your prayer list. It’s not just a, OK, I prayed it once, and then it’s out of my mind. No, we’re connected. We’re members of the Body of Christ. And so shouldn’t we care for each other? Shouldn’t our heart expand beyond just my little family?
And so Sunday reminds us, OK, there’s more people out there. Let’s actually share. Let’s be vulnerable. Let’s lift up prayers for one another. That’s why there’s a local church.
And then beyond that, can it be said of the universal church? That it is quiet and peaceable, 1 Timothy 2. Or is it loud and divided? There’s many youTubers. I like some of the content of what they say, and I would say amen to it. But do they have to broadcast it? Do they have to call out names? Are they trying to pick a fight on youTube? Do they want to put that title for that click? They just want revenue coming in, and that’s their whole game?
The Body of Christ is supposed to be one, Jesus says. And we are supposed to be one. Jesus is the head, and we’re all supposed to be unified under Him. And yet when I look on social media, we are so divided, and we’re so loud, and we’re so angry, and we’re so ready to throw stones and call out names. And that’s a false brother, and that’s a false teaching. And we’re so confident and so judgmental on youTube. And is this what the world sees? Yes, that’s what it sees. No wonder they don’t want to go to church. Who would want to go to church when even Christians can’t agree?
So we should pray, not only for our local church, we should pray for the universal church. Can we be quiet and peaceable, unified, one?
What about America? When you look at the condition of America, are we quiet and peaceable, or are we loud, aggressive, violent, a superpower, ready to just mow other nations down, ready to start war, and triggered so easily? Just because we have military might, we think we are above all the nations. This is how the world thinks of us. This is how we project ourselves as a superpower. No wonder people say they hate America. If you’re not American, you look at that kind of a nation on the world stage, do you like that, or do you want to bring them down? Let’s just bring them to our level so that we can at least be on the same playing field. That’s how nations look upon America.
We should pray for America. We should pray for America so that there is peace. I don’t understand Christians that just want to start wars. I think this is what it means to be an American, a patriot. No, every war, in my opinion, is wrong. Of course, God can use wars. He used Babylonians in exile. I mean, there are times when God uses something like war to punish His people, yes. But for the most part, we don’t want war. We don’t want war. War kills innocent people. War takes away a life before they have a chance to make a profession of faith and meet Jesus. That’s the worst thing that can happen to a person who does not know Jesus, is they get struck down in a war.
We should be praying for peace, praying for peace. We should pray for our politicians to keep their mouths shut, all these talking heads who think they’re so wise. No, we should pray for peace. Just close the mouth, please, and let’s not perpetuate it. Let’s just pray for peace in the Middle East. After 9-11, what happened after, did that promote peace? Or did we just start war after war after war and just add fuel to the fire? And so now, are we going to start more wars? Is that the solution?
No, we should pray for peace. We should pray for people, to every man, woman, and child on Earth to be saved before it’s too late. That’s how we should be praying for our nation and for our world.
The first kind of prayer, the first level of prayer, is a level of supplications. We have many needs. But for the most part, I would say most of our needs are met. So let’s progress beyond supplication. That should be maybe a short, short part of your prayer life. Beyond that, let’s go a little deeper.
There’s the prayer life, and there’s the supplication life, and there’s beyond that, let’s go a little deeper. There’s the prayers, as it says in 1 Timothy. The prayers is where you exchange your heart, your desires, your wishes. And the Lord exchanges His heart, His desires, His wishes. It’s a relational deepening of prayer. But still, this is just level one of prayer.
I think the Lord is inviting us today to go deeper in prayer. Level two is intercession and thanksgiving. These are prayers that hit the mark. That is what an intercession means. It hits the mark. If you pray a prayer of thanksgiving, it hits the mark. It is the will of God in all circumstances, 1 Thessalonians 5.
If you pray and you intercede for your loved ones, it hits the mark. If you pray and you intercede for your fellow brothers in the local church, it hits the mark. If you pray and you intercede for America, for them to be saved, it hits the mark. If you pray and intercede and give thanksgiving for the world, for every man, woman, and child on Earth to be saved, it hits the mark.
We can pray that little junior goes to Harvard, but does it hit the mark? Is it God’s will? We don’t know. But we know it’s God’s will for little junior, their heart to open up and for them to meet the Lord Jesus personally and to be saved. We know always that prayer hits the mark.
So every other thing that we’re praying, oh, can you pray for me? Thing that we’re praying, oh, can this person be healed? Can this job be granted? Can this door open? That’s all in the context of the prayer that hits the mark is a prayer of intercession that through this, through this sickness, through this circumstance, through this disappointment, through this promotion, through whatever we’re praying for, they meet Jesus more deeply, more personally. That prayer always hits the mark. That is what intercession means. From God’s heart, you’ve connected the bullseye.
Let’s pray in this way for one another, for America, for the world. Okay, let’s pray. Amen.
Father, forgive us for being self-centered, for only being concerned with our life and the lives of our family members. You remind us every Sunday, there’s more people out there, starting with the people sitting right next to us. Do we even care if they’re here? Do we care if they don’t show up? Are we concerned? Aren’t you concerned about every single person? Why don’t we have concern for one another?
Lord, we repent, Lord, for our self-centeredness. For the war that’s happening in Israel, in Ukraine. Some of us, we just turn off the news. We don’t care. It’s not in our country. It doesn’t bother me. We don’t care. Forgive us, Lord, for being self-centered.
A lot of our foreign policy, that’s why these things are happening in other parts of the world. It is our concern, and many times, it’s our fault. As a country, forgive America, Lord. Forgive America. Forgive the church for being loud and divisive and throwing stones, being judgmental, calling out names, calling out false teaching as if we are the judge, thinking we know better than others. Forgive us, Lord, for our pride and our arrogance.
Father, we pray that you would forgive children who provoke, fathers and mothers who provoke children, spouses that provoke one another. Forgive us for being triggered by immaturity around us. Forgive us for the wrath. Forgive us for all the misused words that we said in response, that triggered or provoked. Help us to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. And slow to anger, most importantly.
The anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. Forgive us, Lord. Our souls, our hearts are not right, which makes our marriages not right, our families not right, our local churches not right, the universal church not right, our nation not right, our world not right.
There’s an Antichrist spirit in our world today that seeks vengeance, that seeks blood, that seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. It is not of God. It is not of God. We rebuke that spirit in Jesus’ name. We pray for peace, Lord. We pray for cool heads. We pray for good foreign policy. We pray that we would not meddle in foreign affairs. We would mind our own business, not be so meddlesome as a country, as if we think we know best how other countries should live. No, Lord, help us to know our place. Forgive us, Lord. Forgive all the greed and corruption that produces wars. In the name of democracy, it is not the real reason. Forgive us, Lord, as a country. Forgive us, Lord.
We pray for peace in the Middle East. We pray for every man, woman, and child in Israel to be saved. They are not our brothers yet. They are, in some sense, an enemy of yours because the same people who crucified Jesus are the same people who are there. So, Father, we pray for salvation among the Jews so that they would recognize Jesus as their Messiah and be brought into the family of God. Father, please have mercy on every Jew in Israel today.
We pray for those on the other side, Hamas. We pray for peace. We pray that you would de-escalate the violence. We pray for the children, many children in Gaza who will be annihilated senselessly. It’s not their fault. It’s not their fault. The children just suffer needlessly because of the adults, because of the terrorism, because of foreign policy, because of violence, because of greed. We don’t know all the reasons why this is happening, but, Lord, you know all the hearts of the men in the high places, high authority. You know what their motives are.
We pray that you would bring these people to account. We pray that a Spirit of quiet and peaceableness would come into the hearts of our kings, our prime ministers, our military generals, our leaders, national, international, state level. Please, Lord, no more provoking, no more vengeance, no more bloodlust, no more anger. Lord, it would only end in more bloodshed. So, Father, we pray for peace. We pray for peace.
And we don’t want peace just to live a long life. We pray for every man, woman, and child, starting with ourselves, our family, California, America, every man, woman, and child in every nation, on this earth, we pray that they would be saved. That is a prayer that we understand hits the bullseye every time. That is the heart of God for this world. Lord, forgive us. We have not prayed the prayer of an intercessor. We’ve prayed only selfishly. We’ve been self-centered in our prayers. Forgive us, Lord.
We wanna change starting from today. We wanna start praying for our fellow brothers, the Church of God, America, and all the nations. Pray that you meet us and minister to us as we partake in the Lord’s Supper. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen