Christians, Pray!

William C. Brownson

Read: 1 Timothy 2:8

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling.

Since prayer is so powerful, both for our leaders, our fellow-citizens, and all people, Paul strongly urges that believers should pray whenever they gather for worship and fellowship. This is to be the heartbeat of the church, the steady calling of all who follow Jesus. And notice, the charge is not only for godly women. Paul expressly calls the “men” to give themselves to prayer.

Mighty praying, however, must arise from godly lives: if we lift up hands in prayer, they must be “holy hands,” the hands of a people devoted to God. Remember Isaiah’s word from the Lord: “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Along with our hands must rise our hearts. And, says Paul, let the praying be “without anger or quarreling.” Let it be from believers who “agree together” in harmony and peace. Likewise, we hear Jesus pray on our behalf, “that they may all be one . . . so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21). That’s the “effectual fervent prayer” that, like the prophet Elijah’s, “availeth much” (James 5:16 KJV). —Bill Brownson

As you pray, confess your sins, and raise your hands and heart to God.