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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, September 24, 2019           

Today’s Scripture Reading | Timothy 2:1–7

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all—this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. (NRSV)

I will be the first to admit I have struggled with my prayer life over the years. Growing up, we prayed as a family before dinner, always the same prayer. Then at night when I was being tucked into bed, we would sing a prayer, from a relatively small repertoire of prayers. Despite people assuring me over the years that there isn’t a formal script that must be followed for God to hear my prayers, I often feel like my prayers are insufficient. My prayer life happens more in the moment, instead of specific times of the day. “God help me” is my most common prayer in reaction to what is currently happening in my life.

In this passage Paul reminds us of the importance of prayer and gives guidance to people like me who struggle with what to pray. Specifically, he reminds us we need to pray for everyone. For all nations and for our leaders. But the challenge in that is the word all, not just the leaders and nations we like but everyone. I still remember growing up how hard it was for me to hear from my Sunday School teacher that I was called to pray for my enemies. Let this charge from Paul be a charge to all of us to pray without limitations.

Loving God, help me feel confident in my prayers. Open my heart to pray not just for the neighbors and people I like, but for the people who challenge me. Bring us closer together so we can find peace on this earth. Amen.

Written by Katie Patterson, Youth Ministry Program Manager

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