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Christlike Praying In A Pagan World


Intro: 1st Timothy is the first of three letters written by Paul to young preachers. These letters, called the Pastoral Epistles, are Paul’s attempt at instructing and encouraging these young men of God. In these letters, we can find a great amount of material related to behavior in the church and also governing worship. Paul felt compelled to write these letters because Timothy and Titus were serving the Lord in a society that was very secular and openly opposed to the preaching of salvation through Jesus Christ and the lifestyle of separation and holiness that accompanies that salvation. He gives these young men some rules of thumb by which they can operate their ministries.

It seems to me that we live in a society that is growing more and more anti-Christian by the day. A society, which declares right wrong and wrong right. America is no longer a Christian nation, but has become a pagan nation where men live as if God were dead or irrelevant. We can complain all we want to about the situation we are in here in America, but this is where we are, and we have been placed here by the providence of Almighty God. As a result, we need to know how to live for God in a pagan world.

I wish I had all the answers as to how we are to live every area of our lives. Though some men think they have all these things figured out, none of us do. However, Paul, in these verses, does deal with one area where we can all impact America. An area of Christian activity that has the power to change society and demonstrate Christ to a lost world. I am talking about the area of prayer. Tonight, I want us to consider together the matter of Christ-like praying in a pagan world. Notice three important divisions in these verses.


A. v.1a The Elevation Of Prayer – Ill. "First of all" – Literally, First in order, rank and importance. Paul tells us that our first priority in the church is that of prayer. (Ill. The decline of the importance of prayer in recent years.) It seems that we have time for every pursuit and activity, except that which is deemed most important. Prayer is often the step-child of the church!

Ill. The power of prayer –
1. Jer. 33:3 – God has promised to hear prayer.
2. John 16:23 – God has promised to answer prayer.
3. Heb. 4:16 – Prayer is the privilege and power of every saint. No one stands higher than you in the area of prayer!
4. Prayer needs to be exalted in our churches more than ever!

B. v. 1b The Elements Of Prayer – Paul lists four elements that ought to be included in our praying. They are:

1. Supplications – Making requests. Sharing our felt needs with God – Phil. 4:6.

2. Prayers – This word refers to the act of worship that should accompany prayer. When we pray, we are literally in the presence of God. Therefore, we are to pray in reverence. (Ill. Preacher who refers to Jesus as "J.C.")

3. Intercessions – This word means ‘To fall in with." It refers to Christians taking the needs of others before the Lord. Our praying should not be selfish.

4. Giving Of Thanks – When we draw near to God in prayer, our hearts should be filled with gratitude for all He is, all He has done, all He is doing and all He will do. Thanksgiving should not be tacked on to the end of our praying, but it should be a major ingredient in every prayer we pray, Eph. 5:18.

C. v.1c-2a The Extent Of Prayer – We are to pray for "all men." This tells us that there is no one on the face of the earth that should not be prayed for. And that there is no man beyond the influence of godly praying. (Ill. Kings and those in authority. Ill. The leadership in Paul’s day – Nero!) Now, more than ever, Christians need to pray for our leaders! We do not have to agree with them, but we should pray for them!) (Ill. Christian love and grace should prevail in all that we do!)

D. v. 2b The Ends Of Prayer – When we pray as we should, the product will be a quietness externally and peacefulness internally. This should produce in us lives of godliness and purity. Ill. Our praying ought to be for ourselves that we do not damage the testimony of Christ by low living!


A. When we pray after this manner, it pleases the Lord and is a good thing in His sight.

B. God is honored when His people pray, as they should. It reveals faith on our part and it affords God an opportunity to demonstrate His power. (Ill. Daniel – Dan. 6)

C. God is more honored by our prayers than He is by our protests. (Ill. Often, protesters display an openly anti-Christian attitude!)

D. Christians pray because they want to please the Lord who saved them from sin! That pleases the Lord.


A. God’s ultimate desire is to see all men saved! (Ill. 2 Pet. 3:9)

B. His means of reaching those He wants to save are those He has already saved. The world is more likely to respond to Christians who love them and pray for them that they are to Christians who attack them and consign them all to Hell.

C. We are to hate sin, but always love the sinner. That is what Jesus did – Matt. 11:19. We love them best by praying for them and lovingly sharing Christ with them.

Conc: These are perilous times for the church of Jesus Christ. Many in our society would love to see all Christians removed from the world. That too will happen! However, while we are still here, we are called upon to love the sinner and to pray for our society. Of all the weapons we have at our disposal, prayer is the most effective in changing the world around us. My challenge to you is that you become an effective prayer warrior for the Lord Jesus Christ – James 5:16.


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