Christians, Pray!

William C. Brownson

READ : 1 Timothy 2:8

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

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, “See, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear” (Isa. 59:1-2). Along with our hands must rise our hearts. And, says Paul, let the praying be “without anger and argument.” Let it be from believers who “agree together” in harmony and peace. That’s the “effectual fervent prayer” that, like Elijah’s, will “avail much” (James 5:16).

PRAYER

Lord, may we pray like that!