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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
September 18, 2004

     The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.
     He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we've learned: that there's one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us - Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-7 (Message*)

What is especially key for the believer? Prayer. Paul urges us to "Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know." It's not a ritual to be fulfilled, but something that is to fill our lives and extend to everyone we know. There isn't one right way; we're to pray every way we know to pray.

We are frequently urged to pray for those in authority in this world. Here Paul gives as a reason for such prayer that we may be able to go quietly about our lives "living simply, in humble contemplation." This may not be the only reason to pray for those in governmental authority, but it is well to be reminded that this is an important one. This is especially true with respect to those lands where Christians are persecuted and in danger. For those of us in countries where we are largely free to live Christian lives in safety, we need to be praying not only for our own leaders but leaders in the lands where our brothers and sisters in the faith live at great risk. These believers we know in the Spirit, even though we may not know them by name or face.

Paul reminds us that Jesus seeks to set all free from sin, and to reconcile them with God. Christ does not play favorites by ethnicity, place or history. We are to share the Good News with those who have not heard it. We don't need complicated theological formulas, for it's a matter of "simple faith and plain truth" that we each should be able to articulate in words and through the way we live our lives.

Dear friends, may we each take this sound advice from Paul to heart in our own lives. Let us be faithful in prayer, praying however we know how for everyone we know and for political leaders in our own lands and elsewhere. May we share the Good News which means so much to us with others in word and deed.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2004 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Friday, 24-Sep-2004 17:48:11 EDT