Faithlife Corporation

"Anything for a quiet life” — the resigned...

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"Anything for a quiet life!/” — the resigned submission of the husband whose wife has been nagging him to do sth. for


the parents who are fed up with their teenage son’s latest

outrageous request,

the kindly vicar who has just received the latest criticism or

     complaint from a tetchy congregation or PCC

There are times when all we want is a hassle-free life

                                                            : no disagreements

                                                            : no arguments

                                                            : no disputes

                                                            : no distractions / diversions

We don’t like hassle, threat, acrimony —

                                    these thgs. undermine our sense of well-being

                                                            disturb our confidence

                                                                        sap our energies…

1 Tim 2: 2, Apostle Paul talks about living “peaceful and quiet lives

—    sounds lovely! What would you give for a life of

 “peace and quiet?”

                        (I thought that’s what retirement was supposed to be about!)

Untroubled and storm-free existence for Xians?  —   NO!

                        God’s people are never promised that!  OT …

                                                                                          Jesus …

                                                                                             Epistles …

A quiet life” is neither a right nor an expectation for the

    (unruffled)                                                     true Xian!

If the Xian life is not all plain sailing, what is Paul talking about when

he speaks of “peaceful and quiet lives?”

vv. 1,2  “ I urge then …”  q.v.

NIV (heading) “Instructions on Worship” — practical & specific

directions …

                                                in context, and with reasons explained …

Paul was writing to Timothy : younger man / minister in charge of Ch.

        at Ephesus (?)

: pastoral concern for that Ch., which he had established and

obviously loved —

            2+ years of preaching / teaching …

            testing and tears …

            hard work / support for “weak” …

cf. Ac 20: 18 ff. — farewell to Elders …

            Eph 3: 14-21 — prayer for the Xians (re love…)

1 Tim. gives instructions for Timothy on how to conduct himself

   in living and in preaching …

Here, specifically about Ch’s worship —

            v. 1 “first of all” = of first importance, so, “above evrythg. else

                                    : public worship needs to be got right!

                        “I urge” = strongly recommend (almost a command! …)

            What is of supreme importance in worship is PRAYER

                                    : integral to every part of worship

                                                            hymns / songs



                                                            sacrament (HC / Bapt.)


                                                            Prayers / Intercessions

For Paul, Ch’s prayer is to include various elements —

            “requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving

  (i.e. prayer & thanksgiving for “faith community” & those outside)

            — and one aspect seems to be essential

                                                   : “for kings and all those in authority

We live in a country where “rulers” are generally beneficent

and we are free from persecution:

   but, for early Xians, it was v. different!

                        “those in authority” were often the “enemy” …

Roman empire was not easy world for Xians to

      live in —  esp. as time went on …

                                    Jewish magistrates tended to be hostile to Xians

                                          and virtually no Xians were in high positions

Paul was clearly aware of the subtle temptation (esp. in the midst of persecution) for Xians to pray selectively — and not to pray for those

who were sworn enemies of Christ

We know (from Rom 13) that Paul had high view of secular power &

authority … [“powers that be are ordained of God”]

                        whether or not they are legitimate rulers

                        good / bad

                        friendly / unfriendly towards Xians

                                    we are to pray for them!

WHY this kind of prayer?

(v. 3) “this is good and pleases God our Saviour

                        : criterion for all worship — cf. OT prophets

Usually because of lack of justice / righteousness in nation / community … (cf. Amos 8: 4-7)


worship condemned on many occasions — simply not pleasing to Lord!

Prayer “for kings and all those in authority” brings pleasure to our

    Saviour God!

But, in fact, pleasing prayer is much wider than that!  —

(v. 1) “for everyone!”


WHAT is practical nature & purpose of this praying?

Can we really pray “for everyone?”

Prayer “for everyone” doesn’t mean having a Prayer List that goes right

Not inward-looking, but looking far & wide

round the whole wide world — your “everyone” and my           “everyone” will be different …     That’s OK!

            [But it might well mean using OPC Prayer Diary …]

                                    Will include “those in authority” …

   (esp in public worship)

The purpose of such prayer is — (v.2) “that we may live

peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness

Is this, after all, the kind of life that we thought about at the beginning? — floating along on waves of serenity, with nothing to disturb or

overwhelm our calm?    —    No! Certainly not!

Our peaceable and gentle lives are to be an effective witness in society

as Xians show a godly and holy example — drawing others to

Christ …

In Ephesus, there were spiritual “opponents” — working against

the Ch. — bringing it into disrepute!

            So, the Ch. is to pursue a lifestyle characterised by:   calmness,

                                                                                       reverence, dignity

Requires ordered and stable society —  “those in authority” rule wisely and create conditions in which all that is good can be encouraged — public decency, safe environment, respect, care for the vulnerable, etc.·         UN Charter of Human Rights;  European Convention on Human Rights; Human Rights Act — wide-ranging provisions, but …·         Battle of Britain :   cf.  War on terrorism …·        International Day of Peace (Tues.)                    PRAY for our rulers and leaders!



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