Pray for all

 

1 Timothy 2:1 ESV: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.”

 

Paul’s instruction here is simple, pray for everyone, everywhere. Not forgetting about our neighbours as we draw close to God in our prayers.

 

The verse is followed soon after with 1 Timothy 2:3-4 which states “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.“.

 

Do you have any blind spots in your prayers? It can be difficult to identify things we are missing when we pray alone, and finding a partner to pray with can be helpful in finding our blind spots.

 

Paul calls us to pray for all. Today can think of something or someone you haven’t prayed for in a while and bring it to God.

 

 

Pray in accordance to His will

 

1 John 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”

To “pray according to his will” simply means to pray following the plans that God has laid out for us in his word. Ephesians 5:15-17 “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

As long as we do so, God will hear our prayer. Think back to your prayers this last week, have you prayed in accordance to His will? If not, what changes will you make to the way you pray?

Humble prayer

 

 

Similar to today Christian communities today, prayer was commonplace in Jewish society. At the time of prayer, Jews would stop what they were doing and pray, some discreetly, but others with pretentious display. Jesus was not condemning all public prayer, as indicated by his own prayers in public. He was warning against having impure or hypocritical objectives when conducting public prayer. Private prayer is simply between an individual and God, and will not be susceptible to temptation which exist when praying publicly.

In the following verses, Jesus gives some tips on humble prayer; Matthew 5:7-8 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”

 

Love One Another

 

In this letter, Peter writes to 5 regions in the Roman empire, and he addresses his audience as exiles who have been dispersed. 1 Peter 1:1 “To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.”

 

It can be surmised that he is writing to groups of Christians facing persecution and or trials. Peter goes on to remind them of the truth of who they are: children of God who have been born again through Christ’s resurrection from the dead. As such they should rejoice, for whatever trials they are currently facing, God has kept an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, in heaven for them.

 

Therefore, his audience is also reminded of their call to be holy and leave their ignorant ways behind, 1 Peter 1:14-15 “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.”

 

Part of this call to obedience is to love wholeheartedly, sacrificially and selflessly.

United in Christ

Design: Joshua Wong

 

The first 10 verses of Ephesians 4 describe the concept of Christian unity and the importance of working together for God’s glory. All of us are uniquely created and gifted by God to serve him and each other to the best of our abilities.

Even though we may know this, we may sometimes find it difficult to put our knowledge into practice. Believers can come from any culture, any background, all walks of life. Regardless of our differences, we are called to love each and every believer as family.

Ephesians 4:2 is Paul’s instruction on overcoming these differences. We are to approach one another with humility, gentleness and patience. Pride and impatience have no place in the body of Christ and will only cause disharmony and chaos. As 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

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