Expanding Prayer in the Kingdom of God
Rather than hoarding our wealth, we should use it to help care for those around us.
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior.” 1 Timothy 2:1-3
I have a relative who is very wealthy. However, he does not want to share. It seems that he lacks a Christian attitude toward sharing his resources with people near him and around the world. In spite of his abundance, he has almost convinced himself that he’s poor. Based on his attitude, I imagine him praying for God to let him keep his wealth, for God to protect it, for God to keep other people away so he doesn't have to share. I wish that instead he would ask the Lord for opportunities to tell about God's salvation and that he could have opportunities to share his blessings.
God Wants Us to Share
By now, you know that God wants followers of Jesus to "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone" (Mark 15:15). The Bible also instructs, "Tell [those who are rich in this world] to use their money to do good. They should be... generous to those in need, always ready to share with others" (1 Timothy 6:18). After all, "If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion — how can God’s love be in that person?" (1 John 3:17).
Pray to the Provider
Rather than hoarding our wealth, we should use it to help care for those around us. Jesus said to "guard against every kind of greed" (Luke 12:15), and "a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God" (Luke 12:21). God's people should "pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness" (1 Timothy 6:11).
Expand His Kingdom
When we pursue godly qualities, our priorities will change. We’ll use our earthly resources to expand His heavenly Kingdom, helping meet people’s spiritual AND physical needs. The early Church was a great example: "all the believers met together... and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity" (Acts 2:44-46). When we live a generous life, we are the best representation of our generous Father, and doors will open to tell others how they too can know the Father.
Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus
Scripture: 1 Tim 2:1-3
Throughout this guide, you’ve been encouraged to pray for God's blessing, peace and love for people you know, and places you go. The past few weeks, we’ve challenged you to make a Take 5 list of people you will minister to and pray for. Will you pray more specifically for those people, using the BLESS acronym? Ask God to BLESS a person's:
- Body: Health, protection & strength;
- Labor: work, income & security;
- Emotions: joy, peace, hope & love;
- Social Relationships: marriage, family, friends & colleagues
- Spiritual Life: salvation, faith, grace, mercy, spiritual growth & forgiveness of sin (Neh. 1:6-9)
This week refer to 1 Timothy 2:1-3 to expand your prayers for those around you. As you pray for people, ask God to work in every part of their lives that you know about. The more specifically you can pray for others, the better.
You can also pray specifically for people in authority. Presidents and political leaders at every level, pastors, business owners and others, need our prayers because of how much they can influence others.
And don’t forget to include thanksgiving in your prayers. Thank God for the opportunity that you have to pray for the person, the place or the task that you do. Thank Him for them and His care for them.
In 1 Timothy 2:3 the Lord states clearly that such prayers for all people and specifically for those in authority are good and acceptable to Him, and that He desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth. So as you pray daily wherever you go among these people, you can be confident that you are in God's will.
Pray this week:
Make us thankful that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are earnestly interceding for us daily to the Father.