“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
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 …
“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
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
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
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,
|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!|