Start With Prayer
Today’s Bible Reading:
We’re on day 2 of 1 Timothy this morning! Go ahead and grab your paper bible, or pull up 1 Timothy 2 on another device and read it, then come back here for the devo.
Paul’s first matter of importance to share with Timothy was the importance of prayer within the church.
Paul is writing to a young minister, providing instruction on leading and serving the church. He is going to give instructions on leadership in the church, the importance of godliness, teaching, rebuking false teachers, caring for widows, etc. What does he start with? (Verse 1)
What does Paul starting with prayer tell us about how important prayer is in our the church? What are some words used to describe prayer? What are some topics Paul encourages Timothy to pray for?
What does “lifting up holy hands” mean (verse 8)? What does our way of life have to do with our prayers?
Verses 9-11 give some specific instructions around attire for women. I do not believe these principled guides, given at a particular moment in history, are meant to be laws for our day. For instance, I don’t believe it is a sin for a woman to braid her hair. What can we learn from verses 9-11? What are some temptations in our day that may lead Christian women to dress in ways that would not honor God?
What does God desire the focus of the “adorning” of his daughters to be? (Verse 10)
Verses 12-14 give some specific guides for the place of women within the church. Paul’s words in verse 14 sound particularly strange to our 21st century ears. While the principle in scripture stands: there are roles of leadership within the church reserved to men. We are reminded in Genesis 1 and 1 Peter 3 that men and women are both created in God’s image and equally heirs of God’s grace.
I thought his commentary from John Piper and Wayne Grudem was particularly insightful. “Men and women, as God created us, are different in hundreds of ways. Being created equally in the image of God means at least this: that when the so-called weakness and strength columns for manhood and for womanhood are added up, the value at the bottom is going to be the same for each. And when you take those two columns and put them on top of each other, God intends them to be the perfect complement to each other.”
Verse 15 can be confusing. There are a few potential understandings of this text. Keeping all of the Bible in mind, we know that it does not mean a woman’s eternal salvation is dependent on her having a child. I appreciated the perspective offered here.
Adoration: Praise God that he invites us to prayer. Praise him that he is wise and gives good instruction to his church.
Confession: Confess to God that coming to him with “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings” is not always our first instinct. Confess ways that we may reject his good design for the church, for men, and for women.
Thanksgiving: Thank God that he instructs us in his word and invites us to come to him in prayer. Thank him that we can pray un-condemned through Jesus.
Supplication: Ask God to help you love his design for the church. Ask him to help you be a praying person who desires the things he desires.
Grace & Peace.
John Piper and Wayne Grudem, 50 Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood and Womanhood (Crossway, 2016).