|Volume 22 Number 6 June 2020||
Christians have the responsibility of choosing to be a lifelong follower of God. There are examples in the New Testament of people who at one time chose to be followers of Jesus, but at some point, they drifted from that path and chose different gods. Those are negative and seemingly hopeless choices. However, there is the possibility of coming home to God.
Throughout both testaments of the Bible, some people made poor choices, but there are also examples of people learning from their mistakes and coming back to God. For instance, the prodigal son willingly left his father’s house for the far country, but when that choice fell apart, he went home. Hoping to be made a servant, nevertheless, his father reinstated him as a son (Luke 15:22-24).
Likewise, after Peter denied Jesus three times, hope was not lost for Peter. He repented and played a major role in the early days of the church. Consider also that when Simon the Sorcerer wanted to buy the ability to confer the Holy Spirit, Peter and John told him he needed to repent (Acts 8:22).
Wherever you are and whatever you’ve done, as long as you live, you have the chance to come home to God. He is waiting. Come home.
In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, we are encouraged to have a specific kind of prayer life. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” What do we see when we look at this verse? I think most of us see the need to pray. We daily try to include our friends, family, fellow Christians and people in authority in our prayers because we know how important it is to pray for them. What are a few other lessons that we can learn from this text?
I want to draw our attention to the phrase, “all people.” There are people in this world who we have never met. Some live in other countries, and some live just down the street. They need our prayers. Then there are people who we have met but with which we do not get along very well. Yes, even our enemies need our prayers. Then, there are the people who we thought were doing okay, and we sometimes just forget them. This list often includes our family, friends and fellow Christians. Let us not assume that just because we do not see something bad happening in somebody’s life that they do not need our prayers.
If we look back at verse one, we are told to offer up “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for all people.” We see within this that we are to pray for specific things that are happening in the lives of people and that those prayers are to be for good and bad circumstances that people may currently face. With our prayers, we petition God for so many things: guidance, forgiveness, help, strength, wisdom, endurance and so much more. Yet, we also pray to lift up praise and glory to the Father and thank Him for all that He has done, is doing and continues to do every day of our lives.
Our prayers not only benefit all lives here and now, but they also have an impact on our eternal destination. God wants “all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” Let us offer up prayers today for all people, no matter the circumstances, and let us pray that all people will come to the knowledge of God and His Word, be obedient to Him and remain faithful all the days of their lives. This is our prayer for all.