The Apostle Paul loved the church. He gave some important LAST WORDS to Timothy and the Church in Ephesus so that the church would to continue to GROW, even after his death.

So Paul instructs Timothy on the most important ingredient for growth. That ingredient is PRAYER. We read about the importance of prayer as it relates to revivals.

– 1857 We are familiar with DL Moody, but Jeremiah Lanphier is less known. NY businessman who became a city missionary. He advertised a noon prayer meeting to be held on Wednesday at the Dutch Church at the corner of Fulton street. After 25 minutes, no one showed up. Then six others came in and the famous Fulton street prayer meeting had begun.. The next week there were 20, There were so many, that it was decided to hold the meetings daily. Within six months 10,000 businessmen were meeting every day for prayer for revival. Within 2 years, over 1,000,000 people were saved.
– CH Spurgeon recalls that his successful ministry at Park Street church started with only a handful of people, but people who were fervent in prayer.
– One revival in England is traced to the prayers of Peggy and Christine Smith. Two sisters who prayed fervently for revival. Peggy was 84 and blind. Christine was 82 with crippling arthritis.
– Missionaries in Korea in the early 1900’s heard of a great revival in India and decided to pray for the same in their country . They met every day at noon for several months. Nothing happened. Someone suggested they disband because nothing was happening, someone else suggested they were not praying enough, so they switched their prayer time to 4:00 so that they could pray longer before returning home for supper. After months pf praying, revival came.
– A tremendous revival in Wales occurred in 1904 when 4 young men, all under the age of 18, went to the mountains every night for months to pray for their church. When the church heard about it, they were moved to prayer, soon the whole church was ablaze with prayer and revival soon followed.
These stories tell us of CHILDREN, the ELDERLY, the BLIND, MISSIONARIES and BUSINESSMEN. They were All instrumental in REVIVAL because they PRAYED

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.” (1 Timothy 2:1–7, NIV84)

Why this emphasis on praying for rulers and authority figures?
Because political peace is best environment for evangelism and growth.

1. WHO should we pray for? 2:1-2
a. Four terms describe prayer
i. Requests. “Requests made to God in a sense of deep spiritual need.” Used in James 5:16 “therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
ii. Prayers. Most general word used for prayer.
iii. Intercession. Only time in NT this word is used. References in classic Greek to a request made to a king.
iv. Thanksgivings. Our prayer for others should be motivated by thanksgiving.

b. Two Groups
i. EVERYONE. Some from every people group will be saved. Revelation 5:9 “you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9, NIV84)

(1) NT teaches obedience to governments. Rom 13:1-4; 1 Pe. 2:12-17
(2) Pray for President Trump
(a) Much of the criticism against him is deserved
(b) Much of it is because of his conservative policies and identification with Christian values such as limited government, prayer, rule of law, family.
(c) Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, We recognize that the lack of civility in America is a dangerous thing
(3) The DIVIDE is not over political parties or foreign and domestic policy, although there are implications in all of those areas. The divide is a spiritual divide, with people who believe like our Founders that freedom and morals are given to us by God – and those who believe in Naturalism – we are here by chance and we make the rules.
(4) From DENNIS PRAGER. I have concluded that there are a few reasons that explain conservatives who were Never-Trumpers during the election, and who remain anti-Trump today. The first and, by far, the greatest reason is this: They do not believe that America is engaged in a civil war, with the survival of America as we know it at stake. While they strongly differ with the left, they do not regard the left-right battle as an existential battle for preserving our nation. On the other hand, I, and other conservative Trump supporters, do. That is why, after vigorously opposing Trump’s candidacy during the Republican primaries, I vigorously supported him once he won the nomination.

2. WHAT should we pray for? Quiet and Peaceable lives.” So we can do what God wants! EVANGELIZE!
a. PERSECUTION limited Paul’s efforts to spread the gospel
i. Just completed Roman Imprisonment
ii. Prior to that – SHIPWRECK – months on Malta
iii. Prior to that – CAESAREA for 2 years!
b. So PRAY for our earthly government and its leaders
3. WHY Should We Pray this Way? It pleases God. 1 Tim 2:3
a. God INVITES us. “All men to be saved. . .”
i. Cf 1 Tim 4:10 “Savior of all men, especially of those who believe)
ii. 1 John 2:2 Unlimited Atonement
iii. We spoke 2 weeks ago about the reality of HELL.
iv. God does not want ANYONE in hell.
v. He provided a way out of the punishment by allowing Jesus to be punished for us.
vi. Salvation is God’s desire. “Who wants all to be saved” = Greek thelo “a desire springing out of emotions or inclinations, rather than out of deliberation”

b. God ENLIGHTENS us. “Come to a knowledge of the truth” We must PRAY because ONLY GOD can do this!
c. God UNITES us. “One God and one mediator between God and men. . .”
i. Greek mesitays:“mediator, arbitrator, one who mediates two parties to remove a disagreement or reach a common goal.” (BDAG)
ii. IMPORTANCE of MARY. She is the BLESSED MOTHER. “In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!” (Luke 1:42, NIV84)
iii. illus – GREW UP in a Catholic neighborhood with mostly Catholic friends and many RC family members. NOT MEANT as a PERSONAL INSULT. But consider an important teaching in RC theology: Mary as Co-Mediator.
(1) “Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death. Catechism, 964
(2) “Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further, In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is mother to us in the order of grace” Catechism, 968
(3) Support for this claim
(a) Mary cooperates with Christ. He is the redeemer, she accentuates what he does. We can become a co-redeemer like Mary if we cooperate with God.
(b) The word εἰς means first or primary. Monos would mean “only.”

(4) Refuting this claim
(a) 1 Timothy 2:6-7; Acts 4:12.
(b) εἰς means ONE and ONLY – same word used for One God “Some by their practice imply that Christ is “one” among many, and have included angels, saints, and the Virgin Mary as other mediators. That is exegetically impossible as seen in the preceding clause. To say Christ is one among many mediators is to say the God is one among many gods, a thought which hardly needs refutation.”
Kent 100
(c) Mary was born in sin and needed a Savior. Rom 5:12; Luke 1:46-47 “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
(d) Mary was a member of the church. Peter and the Apostles led the early church, not Mary. Acts 1:14

(e) The teaching and practice of the Church clearly contradicts the claim that Mary merely cooperates with Jesus.
(i) Veneration of Mary
(ii) Expansion of Mariology still ongoing.
(iii) Prayer to Mary.

d. God PROVIDES for us. “…gave Himself as a ransom for all men”
i. Ransom. Antilutron. Anti=”for,” Lutron=money paid to ransom prisoners of war, to release slaves, to redeem a bond. . . Josephus has it often for ransom for prisoners of war or war booty. (Kittle)
ii. Matthew 20:28 (NIV) “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
iii. Titus 2:14 (NIV) “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
e. God APPOINTS us. V. 7 – Paul’s purpose.

PAUL CONFRONTS THE PHILOSOPHY OF HIS DAY. The pagans of Ephesus had many mediators. There is only ONE mediator!

Do we believe in prayer?

From FIM Missionary Takuji Yamazaki in JAPAN. Three faithful members of a church planted by Takuji & Hiroko Yamazaki decided to pray for newcomers to the church every Sunday. To date, they have had new visitors for ten weeks straight!
Photo of Takuji Yamazaki at one of his churches.

Will You pray for the LOST?

– Write down the names of FIVE unsaved friends or family members.
– Put it in your phone, or wallet
– Join us in PRAYER MEETING to pray for our church and community
– If you cannot be here on WED, then pray with your small group at some other time.