TITLE: A REALLY PRAYING CHURCH – A CHURCH REALLY PRAYING
TEXT: 1 TIMOTHY 2:1-15
In his instructions to Pastor Timothy, the Lord speaking through the Apostle Paul tells us of the importance of a Church’s prayer ministry if it is to hold back the forces of darkness and successfully carry out the Lord’s Great Commission to the Church. The impotence of today’s Church is largely due to her failure to pray and to pray according to the Lord’s instructions to His Church, as given in 1 Timothy 2. The Lord stresses three important truths that must be followed if a Church is to be a powerful force for Jesus in this world.
I. THE PRIORITY WE ARE TO GIVE TO PRAYER (2:1)
“…first of all..” (2:1) The Lord is telling us that prayer is to be the Church’s first priority. Someone has said that there is much we can do after we pray, but there is nothing of value we can do before we pray. That is what the Lord is relaying to us in verse 1.
II. THE PEOPLE WE ARE TO HAVE LEAD IN PRAYER (2:8; 11-14)
“I will, therefore, that ‘men’ pray” (2:8) The word men here is not used in a generic sense, it means the males of the congregation as opposed to the women.
God always works through His established authority when He works, but Satan always works in the Church by working through God’s reversed order of authority. I once had my Chairman of the Deacons ask me (his wife put him up to asking me. lol) why I never called on the women to pray in the prayer meeting, I just always asked the men? My answer was; Because that is what the Bible tells me to do in 1 Timothy 2:8 and he responded by saying; That’s all I need to know”, That should be every Christian’s response; Whatever He saith unto thee, do it”. It works when we do things the way the lord directs us, our human wisdom is always doomed to fail us. This in no way minimizes the importance of woman or their power in prayer. I know some woman I would much rather have praying for me than most men I know. This is the subject of the Church Prayer Time as we gather for prayer and worship.
The first example is how Satan never attempted to deceive Adam, he went after Eve and then he used Eve to seduce Adam to be disobedient to the Lord.
Adam was created first because God intended the man to take the leadership, if He had wanted the woman to lead He would have created her first, but He created her second because her role is not to lead man, but to be his help mate, to help him carry out his God-given role of leadership.
In the Church everyone knows that it is easier to lead a woman to volunteer than it is a man, that is why women are doing much of what lazy men should be doing. The reason it is easier to get a woman to do the work is because, as a Spirit-Filled woman she is made to follow, Satan understands God’s order and a woman’s makeup and the always present danger is that Satan will take advantage of the woman and use her against the male leadership as he did to Eve. Nearly every problem in a Church can be traced to a rebellious woman with a weak man.
Men are to take the lead in the most important ministry of the Church as in every other area, but not just any man, James 5:7 tells us “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”. too many of the prayers by men in the Church have little to no effect upon its objects, they avail little. That is because the men praying often don’t meet the qualifications for being heard of the Lord.
A. Men (2:8)
B. Holy Men (2:8 holy hands, i.e. a clean life)
C. Holy Men of Faith (2:8 -without doubting)
These are the people who are to be leading the Church’s prayer ministry if it is to have power with the Lord.
Someone might ask me what I would do if a woman stood up in a prayer meeting and said that she didn’t believe that a woman should have to dress in old fashion clothes to come to Church, or that she shouldn’t be made to be silent, she has as much right to prayer and speak out as any man does? Then I would tell her that she is the woman the Lord is warning us about in these verses, she is the one being contrary to the Word of God, she is the one the devil is trying to use to disrupt the meeting and hinder the prayers of the Church and it would be best for her and for the Church if she took her seat and let the service proceed. If she wouldn’t, I would have have my deacons escort her out and once she is gone, I would proceed with the prayer meeting.
It is high time for the Church to set herself in order, it’s high time for the Church to begin to line herself up with the Word of God, no longer allowing ourselves to depart to the right or to the left of the narrow path that Jesus has laid out for us. That is exactly what a revived Church would demand of herself and her members. A revived Church realizes that her problem was that she for too long had refused to take the Word of God seriously.
III. THE PROBLEM WE ARE TO PREVENT WHEN PRAYING (2:9,11)
Knowing the power of prayer to defeat him, Satan will always attempt to destroy the prayer meeting time and again, we see it is the woman who will be the target of Satan’s wiles to destroy the prayer time. How does he use a woman? What is it that the woman and the Church must always guard against? What is it that the Church must clearly teach its members.
The Lord gives us two things Satan will attempt to use to distract and disrupt men as the pray.
A. A Woman’s Immodesty (2:9)
That is why the woman is admonished to always dress in modest apparel when attending Church (and everywhere else as well), the House of Prayer.
Satan knows that few men can concentrate on prayer in the presence of an immodestly dressed woman. Women must never allow their dress to be a distraction.
B. A Woman’s Interruptions (2:11)
“Let the women learn in silence with all subjection” (2:11) I know that offends a rebellious woman who is not a Spirit-Filled woman. That is exactly why the Lord gave the command, to prevent such women from interrupting or dominating the mens prayer time.
A Spirit-Filled woman would never think to interrupt a man in the Church, but a rebellious woman would have no such qualms and Satan knows that. I have had many women stand up in a business meeting and give everyone a piece of their mind while their mousy husband set silent and shamed. I have never in 36 years ever see my wife ever say a word in a Business Meeting, she would never think of doing such. That is why she has never been a trouble maker in the Church.
I realize these statements may seem strange and even offensive to many people in the Church, but strangeness is the proof why so many of our Churches are impotent, divided, and bringing shame upon the Lord.
We will always be wise when we consider ourselves a fool and see the Word of God as the Wisdom of God.
Every Christian and every Church should make a new commitment to begin to take the Word of God seriously and do our business exactly as the Lord says to do. We have skirted the Word of God for so long in the Church that it no longer holds any true authority over our beliefs and behavior. That attitude calls for repentance from the Church.